[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 231 (Thursday, December 2, 1999)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 67479-67481]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-31276]

[[Page 67479]]



Customs Service

19 CFR PART 12

[T.D. 99-88]
RIN 1515-AC52

Import Restrictions Imposed on Certain Khmer Stone Archaeological 
Material of the Kingdom of Cambodia

AGENCY: U.S. Customs Service, Department of the Treasury.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: This document amends the Customs Regulations by imposing 
emergency import restrictions on certain Khmer stone archaeological 
material of the Kingdom of Cambodia of the 6th century through the 16th 
century A.D. These restrictions are being imposed pursuant to a 
determination of the United States Information Agency issued under the 
terms of the Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act in 
accordance with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural 
Organization (UNESCO) Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and 
Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of 
Cultural Property. The document contains the Designated List describing 
the Khmer stone archaeological material of the Kingdom of Cambodia to 
which the restrictions apply.

EFFECTIVE DATE: December 2, 1999.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: (Legal Aspects) Michael L. Smith, 
Intellectual Property Rights Branch (202) 927-1996; (Operational 
Aspects) Joan E. Sebenaler, Trade Programs (202) 927-0402.



    The value of cultural property, whether archaeological or 
ethnological in nature, is immeasurable. Such items often constitute 
the very essence of a society and convey important information 
concerning a people's origin, history, and traditional setting. The 
importance and popularity of such items regrettably makes them targets 
of theft, encourages clandestine looting of archaeological sites, and 
results in their illegal export and import.
    The U.S. shares in the international concern for the need to 
protect endangered cultural property. The appearance in the U.S. of 
stolen or illegally exported artifacts from other countries where there 
has been pillage has, on occasion, strained our foreign and cultural 
relations. This situation, combined with the concerns of museum, 
archaeological, and scholarly communities, was recognized by the 
President and Congress. It became apparent that it was in the national 
interest for the U.S. to join with other countries to control illegal 
trafficking of such articles in international commerce.
    The U.S. joined international efforts and actively participated in 
deliberations resulting in the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of 
Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of 
Ownership of Cultural Property (823 U.N.T.S. 231 (1972)). U.S. 
acceptance of the 1970 UNESCO Convention was codified into U.S. law as 
the ``Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act'' (Pub. L. 97-
446, 19 U.S.C. 2601 et seq.) (``the Act''). This was done to promote 
U.S. leadership in achieving greater international cooperation towards 
preserving cultural treasures that are of importance to the nations 
from where they originate and to achieving greater international 
understanding of mankind's common heritage.
    During the past several years, import restrictions have been 
imposed on archaeological and ethnological artifacts of a number of 
signatory nations. These restrictions have been imposed as a result of 
requests received from those nations under Article 9 of the 1970 
Convention and pursuant to provisions of the Convention on Cultural 
Property Implementation Act that allow for emergency action and 
bilateral agreements between the United States and other countries.
    This document amends the regulations by imposing emergency import 
restrictions on certain archaeological artifacts from Cambodia as 
described below.


    Under Sec. 303(a)(3) of the Cultural Property Implementation Act 
(19 U.S.C. 2602(a)(3)), Cambodia, a State Party to the 1970 UNESCO 
Convention, asked the U.S. Government to impose import restrictions on 
certain categories of archaeological and/or ethnological material the 
pillage of which, it was alleged, jeopardizes the national cultural 
patrimony of Cambodia. Notice of receipt of this request was published 
by the United States Information Agency (USIA) in the Federal Register 
(64 FR 28873) on May 27, 1999.
    The request was forwarded to the Cultural Property Advisory 
Committee, which conducted a review and investigation and submitted its 
report in accordance with the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 2605(f) to the 
Associate Director for Educational and Cultural Affairs, USIA. Pursuant 
to the provisions of 19 U.S.C. 2603(a)(3), the Committee found, with 
respect to a certain category of archaeological material, the situation 
in Cambodia to be an emergency, and recommended that emergency import 
restrictions be imposed on certain Khmer stone archaeological material 
from Cambodia. The Associate Director, pursuant to the authority vested 
in him under Executive Order 12555 and USIA Delegation Order 99-4, 
considered the Committee's recommendations and on September 29, 1999, 
the Associate Director made the determination that emergency import 
restrictions be applied.
    The Commissioner of Customs, in consultation with the Associate 
Director of the USIA, has developed a list of types of covered Khmer 
stone archaeological material of the 6th century through the 16th 
century A.D. from Cambodia. The materials on this list are subject to 
Sec. 12.104a(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.104a(b)). As provided 
in 19 U.S.C. 2601 et seq., and Sec. 12.104a(b), Customs Regulations, 
listed materials from this area may not be imported into the U.S. 
unless accompanied by documentation certifying that the material left 
Cambodia legally and not in violation of the laws of Cambodia.
    In the event an importer cannot produce the certificate, 
documentation, or other evidence required by Sec. 12.104c, Customs 
Regulations (19 CFR 12.104c) at the time of making entry, Sec. 12.104d, 
Customs Regulations (19 CFR 12.104d) provides that the port director 
shall take custody of the material until the certificate, 
documentation, or evidence is presented. Section 12.104e provides that 
if the importer states in writing that he will not attempt to secure 
the required certificate, documentation, or evidence, or the importer 
does not present the required certificate, documentation, or evidence 
to Customs within the time provided, the material shall be seized and 
summarily forfeited to the U.S. in accordance with the provisions of 
Part 162, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 162).
    The list of archaeological material from Cambodia for which import 
restrictions apply is set forth below.

[[Page 67480]]

List of Khmer Stone Archaeological Material of the 6th Century 
Through the 16th Century A.D. From Cambodia

    Khmer stone archaeological material of the 6th century through the 
16th century A.D. from Cambodia, includes the categories listed below. 
The following list is representative only.


    This category consists largely of materials made of sandstone, 
including many color shades (grey to greenish to black, pink to red and 
violet, some yellowish tones) and varying granulosity. Due to oxidation 
and iron content, the stone surface can become hard and take on a 
different color than the stone core. These surface colors range from 
yellowish to brownish to different shades of grey. This dense surface 
can be polished. Some statues and reliefs are coated with a kind of 
clear shellac or lacquer of different colors (black, red, gold, yellow, 
and/or brown). The surface of sandstone pieces can also, however, be 
quite rough. Chipped surfaces can be white in color. In the absence of 
any systematic technical analysis of ancient Khmer stonework, no exact 
description of other stone types can be provided. It is clear, however, 
that other types of stone were also used (some volcanic rock, rhyolite 
and schist, etc.), but these are nonetheless exceptional. Some quartz 
objects are also known. Precious and semi-precious stones were also 
used as applied decor or in jewelry settings.
    Different types of stone degradation can be noted. Eroded surfaces 
result from sanding (loss of surface grains), contour scaling 
(detachment of surface plaques along contour lines), flaking and 
exfoliation. The stone can also split along sedimentation layers. 
Chipping or fragmentation of sculpted stone is also common.
    Stone objects included here come under three historical periods: 
pre-Angkorian (6th-9th century), Angkorian (9th-14th century) and post-
Angkorian (14th-16th century). Many stone objects can be firmly 
assigned to one of these three periods; some, notably architectural 
elements and statues, can be further assigned a specific style and a 
more precise date within the given period.
A. Sculpture
1. Architectural Elements
    Stone was used for religious architecture in the pre-Angkorian and 
Angkorian periods. The majority of ancient Khmer temples were built 
almost entirely in stone. Even for those temples built primarily in 
brick, numerous decorative elements in stone were also employed. Only 
small portions of early post-Angkorian edifices were built in stone. 
The architectural elements that follow are, therefore, characteristic 
of pre-Angkorian and Angkorian times. The state of the material varies 
greatly, some objects being well preserved, others severely eroded or 
fragmented. The sculpture of some pieces remains unfinished.
    a. Pediments. Pediments are large decorative stone fixtures placed 
above temple doorways. They are triangular in shape, and are composed 
of two or more separate blocks, fitted together and sculpted with 
decorative motifs. The ensemble can range from approximately 1-3 meters 
in width and 1-3 meters in height. Motifs include floral scrolls, 
medallions, human figures and animals. A whole scene from a well-known 
story can also be represented.
    b. Lintels. Lintels are rectangular monoliths placed directly above 
temple entrance gates or doorways, below the pediments described above. 
They are decorated with motifs similar to those of pediments. They can 
reach up to nearly one meter in height and one and a half meters in 
    c. False doors. Three of the four doorways of a temple sanctuary 
are frequently ``false doors''; that is, though they are sculpted to 
look like doors, they do not open. They bear graphic and floral motifs, 
sometimes integrating human and animal figures. These doors can reach 
up to more than two meters in height and more than one meter in width. 
They can be monolithic, or composed of separate blocks fitted together.
    d. Columnettes. Columnettes are decorative columns placed on either 
side of a temple door entrance. They can be sculpted in deep relief out 
of a temple doorway and, therefore, remain attached to the doorway on 
their back side. The earliest columnettes are round, sculpted with 
bands themselves sculpted with decorative motifs. Later in the 
Angkorian period, the columnettes are octagonal in shape, and bear more 
complex and abundant sculpted decor on the concentric bands. This decor 
includes graphic designs (pearls, diamond shapes, flowers, etc.) 
repeated at regular intervals along the length of the column. The base 
of the column is square and is also sculpted with diverse motifs and 
figures. The columnettes can reach around 25 centimeters in diameter 
and more than two meters in height.
    e. Pilasters. Pilasters are decorative rectangular supports 
projecting partially from the wall on either side of a temple doorway. 
They are treated architecturally as columns, with base, shaft and 
capital. Motifs include floral scrolls and graphic designs of pearls, 
diamond shapes, etc., as well as human or animal figures. They range in 
width from approximately 20-30 centimeters and can reach a height of 
more than two meters.
    f. Antefixes. Antefixes are decorative elements placed around the 
exterior of each level of a temple tower. They are small free-standing 
sculptures and can take multiple forms, including but not limited to 
graphic designs, animal figures, human figures in niches and miniature 
models of temples.
    g. Balustrade finials. Long balustrades in the form of mythical 
serpents are found in many Angkorian temples. Often, these line either 
side of the entrance causeways to temples. The ends of the balustrade 
take the form of the serpent's multiple cobra-like heads.
    h. Wall reliefs. Much of the surface area of most temples is 
sculpted with decorative reliefs. This decor includes graphic designs 
and floral motifs as well as human or animal figures. The figures can 
range in size from just a few centimeters to more than one meter in 
height. They can be integrated into the decor or set off in niches. 
Narrative scenes can also be represented.
    i. Other decorative items. Other decorative items include wall 
spikes, roof tile finials, sculpted steps, and other architectural 
2. Free-Standing Sculpture
    The pre-Angkorian and Angkorian periods are characterized by 
extensive production of statuary in stone. Some stone statuary was also 
produced during the post-Angkorian period. This statuary is relatively 
diverse, including human figures ranging from less than a half meter to 
nearly three meters in height, as well as animal figures. Some figures, 
representations of Indian gods, have multiple arms and heads. Figures 
can be represented alone, or in groups of two or three. When male and 
female figures are presented together as an ensemble, the female 
figures are disproportionately smaller than their male counterparts. 
Some are part-human, part-animal. Figures can be standing or sitting, 
or riding animal mounts. Many figures are represented wearing crowns or 
special headdresses, and holding attributes such as a baton or a conch 
shell. Clothing and sometimes jewelry are sculpted onto the body. 
Though statues are generally monolithic, later post-Angkorian statues 
of the Buddha can have separate arms, sculpted in wood and attached to 
the stone body. Many statues were once lacquered in black or dark 
brown, red or gold colors, and

[[Page 67481]]

retain lacquer traces. Some yellow lacquer is also found.
    a. Human and hybrid (part-human, part-animal) figures. Examples 
include a statue of the eight-armed god, four-armed god, 
representations of Buddha in various attitudes or stances, and female 
and male figures or deities, including parts (heads, hands, crowns or 
decorative elements) of statuary, and groups of figures.
    b. Animal figures. Examples include bulls, elephants, lions, and 
small mammals such as squirrels.
    c. Votive objects. A number of more abstract sculptures were also 
the object of religious representation from pre-Angkorian to post-
Angkorian times. Examples include ritual phallic symbols and sculpted 
footprints of Buddha.
    d. Pedestals. Pedestals for statues can be square, rectangular or 
round. They vary greatly in size, and can be decorated with graphic and 
floral decor, as well as animal or human figures. They are usually made 
of numerous components fitted together, including a base and a top 
section into which the statue is set.
    e. Foundation deposit stones. Sacred deposits were placed under 
statues, as well as under temple foundations and in temple roof vaults, 
from pre-Angkorian to post-Angkorian times. Marks on these stones 
indicate sacred configurations, which could contain deposits such as 
gold or precious stones.
3. Stela
    a. Sculpted stela. Free standing stela sculpted with shallow or 
deep reliefs served as objects of worship and sometimes as boundary 
stones from pre-Angkorian to post-Angkorian times. Examples include 
stele with relief images of gods and goddesses, Buddhas, figures in 
niches, and other symbols.
    b. Inscriptions. Texts recording temple foundations or other 
information were inscribed on stone stela from pre-Angkorian to post-
Angkorian times. Such texts can also be found on temple doorjambs, 
pillars and walls. The stela are found in a number of different shapes 
and sizes, and can also bear decorative reliefs, for example a bull 
seated on a lotus flower.

Regulatory Amendment

    This document amends Sec. 12.104g(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 
12.104g(b)) to incorporate by reference the above list of 
archaeological material from Cambodia for which emergency import 
restrictions are imposed.

Inapplicability of Notice and Delayed Effective Date

    This amendment is being made without notice or public procedure, 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), because the action being taken is of an 
emergency nature and such notice or public procedure would be 
impracticable and contrary to the public interest. For the same 
reasons, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), a delayed effective date is 
not required.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Because no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the 
provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) do 
not apply.

Executive Order 12866

    This amendment does not meet the criteria of a ``significant 
regulatory action'' as described in E.O. 12866.
    Drafting information. The principal author of this document was 
Keith B. Rudich, Esq., Regulations Branch, Office of Regulations and 
Rulings, U.S. Customs Service. However, personnel from other offices 
participated in its development.

List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 12

    Cultural property, Customs duties and inspections, Imports.

Amendment to the Regulations

    Accordingly, Part 12 of the Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 12) is 
amended as set forth below:


    1. The general authority and specific authority citation for Part 
12, in part, continue to read as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 19 U.S.C. 66, 1202 (General Note 20, 
Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS)), 1624;
* * * * *
    Sections 12.104 through 12.104i also issued under 19 U.S.C. 
* * * * *
    2. In Sec. 12.104g(b) the list of emergency actions imposing import 
restrictions on described articles of cultural property of State 
Parties is amended by adding Cambodia in appropriate alphabetical order 
as follows:

Sec. 12.104g  Specific items or categories designated by agreements or 
emergency actions.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *

           State party                 Cultural property       T.D. No.
*                  *                  *                  *
                  *                  *                  *
Cambodia.........................  Khmer stone               T.D. 99--88
                                    archaeological material
                                    from Cambodia.
*                  *                  *                  *
                  *                  *                  *

Raymond W. Kelly,
Commissioner of Customs.

    Approved: November 9, 1999.
John P. Simpson,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.
[FR Doc. 99-31276 Filed 12-1-99; 8:45 am]