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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 Sep 22, 2016.

Prevent Trafficking in Cultural Property Act

(Sec. 3) This bill declares that it is U.S. policy to: (1) ensure that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components 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 prosecutions of persons engaged in such illegal trade; and (2) protect cultural property pursuant to obligations under international conventions.

(Sec. 4) It directs the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to: (1) designate a principal coordinator to direct, manage, coordinate, and update policies and procedures, and conduct interagency communications, regarding illegally imported cultural property; (2) update and devise directives, regulations, rules, and memoranda of understanding relating to policies and procedures on the illegal importation of cultural property; and (3) train relevant personnel on cultural property laws, identification of at-risk items, and investigative techniques with respect to illegally traded cultural property.

(Sec. 5) DHS must authorize relevant component heads to enter into agreements or memoranda of understanding with the Smithsonian Institution to further activities to protect cultural property.

(Sec. 6) The CBP and ICE must jointly report to Congress on implementation of this bill and other actions to prevent the illegal importation of cultural property into the United States.