United States and Nicaragua Extend Memorandum of Understanding

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 6, 2015

The U.S. Department of State is pleased to announce the extension, effective October 20, 2015, of the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua Concerning the Imposition of Import Restrictions on Archaeological Material from the Pre-Hispanic Cultures of the Republic of Nicaragua (Agreement), for a period of five years. The Agreement, which first entered into force October 26, 2000, builds on the United States’ ongoing commitment to cultural preservation and respect for the heritage of other countries.

Under the terms of the amended Agreement and accompanying import restriction, a restricted object may enter the United States under certain circumstances, as long as no other applicable U.S. laws are violated. The restriction allows importation of an object accompanied by (a) documentation of lawful exportation issued by the Government of the Republic of Nicaragua or (b) evidence that that the object left Nicaragua prior to October 26, 2000, or at least ten years before it entered the United States. The Designated List of restricted types of objects, published by Customs and Border Patrol, and information about the Agreement can be found at http://eca.state.gov/cultural-heritage-center/cultural-property-protection/bilateral-agreements/nicaragua.

The Government of the Republic of Nicaragua requested this Agreement under Article 9 of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. The Convention offers a framework of cooperation among States Parties to preserve intact archaeological sites and ethnological objects by reducing further pillage, an activity that destroys information about past cultures and places a nation’s cultural heritage in jeopardy. Nicaragua’s pre-Hispanic cultural heritage continues to be protected under the Agreement.

Media Contact: The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, ECA-Press@state.gov, (202) 632-6452