Application Procedure and Checklist (Revised January 2017)
Please note: Those wishing to apply for determinations to be made and published during the holiday season are advised that processing, review, and publication times may be extended depending upon staffing levels. Applications should be prepared and submitted with this in mind.
1. Address your signed application cover letter to the Assistant Legal Adviser for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.
2. Ensure that (i) your application contains all items listed in the Application Checklist below, and that (ii) the content and form of each item conform to the instructions in the Application Procedure and Checklist.
Please read the Application Procedure and Checklist carefully. Processing of applications that are (i) incomplete or (ii) not prepared in accordance with the instructions on this page may be delayed. With respect to submitted applications that are incomplete (e.g., applications that do not contain all agreements required under these instructions), applicants are responsible for providing timely updates to the Office with the requisite information and/or documentation.
3. Submit your application by e-mail, by mail, or by courier. The Office encourages submissions by e-mail.
Please note: Due to ongoing developments that have been lengthening the process for publishing Federal Register notices, the Office requests that applications be submitted a minimum of eight (8) weeks prior to the date of importation. If you are requesting an early publication date (see Application Checklist Item No. 1 below), the Office requests that your application be submitted a minimum of eight (8) weeks prior to that date.
A. By E-mail: E-mail your application to firstname.lastname@example.org.
a) Submit all application attachments in Portable Document Format (PDF).
b) Divide your attachments into separate files (e.g., cover letter, schedule of objects, cultural significance statement). If your application contains more than one loan agreement, submit each agreement as a separate file.
c) Utilize a consistent convention when naming your attachment files (e.g., Cover Letter.pdf, Schedule of Objects.pdf, Cultural Significance Statement.pdf, Loan Agreement_XYZ Lender.pdf).
d) If your application totals more than 10MB in size, send multiple e-mails, with each being less than 10MB in size.
e) Do not e-mail your application to an Office staff member even if you have worked with that member before on a prior application. All e-mailed applications must be sent to email@example.com.
B. By Mail: Mail your application to the following address:
Assistant Legal Adviser for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, L/PD, SA-5, Suite 5H03, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20522-0505
a) The Office encourages that mailed applications be sent expedited to facilitate timely receipt.
b) The Office does not accept applications contained on discs, USB flash drives, or any other portable electronic storage device.
C. By Courier: Courier your application to the following address:
Assistant Legal Adviser for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, L/PD, SA-5, 2200 C Street, N.W., U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20037
4. Upon receipt, the Office will e-mail the contact person listed in your application. If you submitted your application by e-mail and have not received a confirmation e-mail within two business days of submission, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. To inquire about the status of your application following submission, you may call 202-632-6471 or e-mail email@example.com.
Please submit the following items in your application:
1. A list of expected places and dates of exhibition, especially the date the objects are expected to arrive in the United States. (Be certain to notify the Department of State of any changes in importation date.) Please state how each venue would prefer to be identified in a public notice, should one be issued.
Please note: If the foreign owner or custodian requires that § 2459 determinations be published before it will export the objects, please provide the requested date by which publication would need to occur;
2. A specific statement of whether or not “the exhibition is to be administered, operated or sponsored without profit to the borrowing or participating institutions.”
Please note: Even though catalogue and print sales and admission and similar fees—all of which merely cover costs—are permissible, a description of all charges or preferences in admission should be provided;
3. A schedule of the objects to be imported for which the applicant is requesting determinations under § 2459, meeting the following specifications:
a) Each object is to be numbered, in ascending numerical order.
b) Each page is to be numbered.
c) The exhibition title and venue(s) at which each object will be displayed are to be stated.
d) The location (city, country) from which each object is being imported is to be included.
e) The information describing each object should be sufficient to ensure each object can be clearly identified. Images of the objects can aid in meeting this degree of specification and are strongly encouraged.
f) If any protected wildlife or plant parts or products, such as elephant or whale ivory, sea turtle shell, Brazilian rosewood, or migratory bird feathers, are included, provide a description of these items, including the species involved.
Please note: As stated in each notice of determinations published in the Federal Register, the Office will provide, upon request by a member of the public, a list of the objects covered under a notice. The list generally provided is the schedule the Office received from the applicant;
4. A scholarly statement establishing the cultural significance of the objects to be imported;
Please note: This statement should not be contained within your cover letter; please include it as a separate file in your application.
5. A statement concerning the provenance of works to be borrowed, as follows:
“The applicant certifies that it has undertaken professional inquiry—including independent, multi-source research—into the provenance of the objects proposed for determination of cultural significance and national interest. The applicant certifies further that it does not know or have reason to know of any circumstances with respect to any of the objects that would indicate the potential for competing claims of ownership [except as described below. For the objects for which circumstances exist that would indicate the potential for competing claims of ownership, the following is a description of such circumstances and the likelihood any such claim would succeed].”
Please note: If you are aware of current or past litigation over ownership, please mention and describe.
6. Facts supporting an assertion that all U.S. participants are cultural or educational institutions, such as an organization’s current IRC § 501(c)(3) determination letter;
7. A copy of each “agreement entered into between the foreign owner or custodian thereof and the United States or one or more cultural or educational institutions within the United States providing for the temporary exhibition…” of the object(s), a copy of any agreements with participating museums or other U.S. cultural or educational institutions, and a copy of any agreements between a foreign owner and a foreign custodian.
Please note: If an agreement is not in English, please provide both the agreement and an English translation. Also, you may redact information that you consider to be proprietary and that you believe would not aid in satisfying the requirements of 22 U.S.C. § 2459;
8. Copies of all related commercial agreements between any or all of the U.S. institutions and the foreign owner/custodian or other parties (excluding support agreements/contracts for such things as insurance, transport, or storage).
Please note: If an agreement is not in English, please provide both the agreement and an English translation. Also, you may redact information that you consider to be proprietary and that you believe would not aid in satisfying the requirements of 22 U.S.C. § 2459; and
9. The contact person for the application, and his or her telephone number and e-mail address.
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For your convenience, please visit the “Sample Application and Contract Language” link for sample introductory paragraphs you may wish to use in your application cover letter and for sample contract language you may wish to use in your loan agreement(s).