Procedures for Making Determinations

A request for a cultural property agreement must be submitted in writing to the Department of State through the diplomatic channel. Any such communication must include the statement of facts specified above under “Foreign Government Requests for Cultural Property Protection.” As a courtesy to the public, the Department may make a summary of the request available.

Prior to proposing an extension of an existing cultural property agreement, the Department may contact the partner country to confirm interest in such an extension.

In accordance with the CPIA, the Department engages in a consultative process with the CPAC. The CPAC’s meeting dates and agenda are published in the Federal Register.

In most instances, U.S. officials will seek to visit countries requesting new agreements or where extensions are proposed. Such visits are intended to gather information pertinent to the review process. Visits typically conclude with a meeting between the U.S. and foreign government officials to discuss the results of the visit and to review any identified deficiencies that might prevent making reliable determinations.

In making its recommendations, the CPAC takes into consideration the foreign government’s request and supporting documentation, as well as information that may be available from other sources. These sources include, but are not limited to, individuals, academic and scientific organizations, the U.S. government, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations with recognized expertise in the subject matter. Public comment, while not required, may also be solicited.

The CPAC may ask the requesting country to arrange a meeting with experts from its national service(s) for the protection of cultural heritage to clarify or amplify information related to the request.

The Department considers the views and recommendations of the CPAC when taking action on the request for, or proposal to extend, an agreement. In taking such action, the Department may also consider whether an agreement or emergency import restrictions are in the national interest of the United States.

These procedures may be modified in the future.