H.R. 2285 (114th): Prevent Trafficking in Cultural Property Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on May 13, 2015.

Prevent Trafficking in Cultural Property Act

Declares that it is U.S. policy to: (1) ensure that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enhance and unify their efforts to interdict, detain, seize, and investigate cultural property illegally imported into the United States, disrupt and dismantle smuggling and trafficking networks engaged in or facilitating illegal trade in cultural property, and support Offices of U.S. Attorneys in prosecuting persons engaged in such illegal trade; and (2) protect cultural property pursuant to U.S. obligations under international conventions.

Requires the CBP and ICE to each designate a principal coordinator or group of personnel to direct, manage, coordinate, and update their respective policies and procedures, and conduct interagency communications, regarding illegally imported cultural property. Directs the CBP and ICE to update and devise directives, regulations, rules, and memoranda of understanding relating to policies and procedures on the illegal importation of cultural property in order to: (1) reflect changes in cultural property law, (2) emphasize investigating, and providing support for investigations and prosecutions of, persons engaged in or facilitating the illegal importation of cultural property, and (3) provide for communication, coordination, and unity of effort between relevant CBP and ICE offices in investigating and supporting prosecutions of such individuals.

Requires the CBP and ICE to ensure that all CBP and ICE personnel involved in interdicting and investigating the illegal importation of cultural property receive sufficient training in relevant cultural property laws, the identification of cultural property from regions that are at greatest risk of looting and trafficking, and methods of interdiction and investigative techniques specifically related to illegal trade in cultural property.

Requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure that the heads of all DHS components involved in cultural property protection activities are authorized to enter into agreements or memoranda of understanding to temporarily engage personnel from the Smithsonian Institution to further cultural property protection activities.