Encouraging Responsible Markets and Trade Practices

HOW WE ARE MAKING AN IMPACT   •   THE AML ACT   •   FAQ

The $28.3 billion American art market is considered the largest unregulated market in the world, making it vulnerable to a wide range of financial crimes.

This ongoing exemption from standard financial regulatory laws and oversight, which now cover all industries of comparable risk and size, is a documented and growing threat to our national security and integrity, as well as the vast majority of legitimate collectors, dealers, auction houses, and museums. Unless and until the U.S. public and private sectors close these loopholes, they will leave the world’s largest economy wide open to money launderers, artifact traffickers, drug smugglers, kleptocrats, oligarchs, terrorists, and the many other criminals proven to have exploited the art market’s weaknesses.

HOW WE ARE MAKING AN IMPACT

Promoting Transparency and Accountability

  • We successfully launched the Financial Crimes Task Force, uniting leaders from the art, legal, and banking sectors, as well as former law enforcement and government officials. The task force released an interactive report with 44 concrete recommendations to fight back, aimed at the government, art market, financial sector, and international community.
  • Following the release of the report, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (NDAA) was passed, removing antiquities dealers’ current exemption from what are now standard anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations under the U.S. Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). Specifically, the NDAA adds those “engaged in the trade” of ancient art and artifacts to the BSA’s list of high risk professions and industries, which must assist the U.S. government in preventing and detecting financial crimes. It calls for a year-long study of the art market to consider it’s vulnerabilities to financial crimes, after which a decision will be issued as to whether the art market will be included in these AML laws as well.
  • We provide introductory lectures to regional chapters of AML professionals, addressing the art and antiquities market’s vulnerabilities to financial crimes and stressing the importance of these issues for banking and financial sectors.

The AML Act

Submitting Comment to FinCEN

On January 1, 2021, Congress enacted the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (the “AML Act”) as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2021.  The AML Act, among other things, removes antiquities dealers’ current exemption from what are now standard AML laws and regulations under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).

In response to the September 23, 2021 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM 1506-AB50) by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which is seeking to implement Section 6110 of the AML Act , we shared a comment with FinCEN aiming to provide answers and recommendations to help to cement America’s standing as a leader in the fight against financial crimes. The co-chairs of the FCTF also submitted a comment.

Read the AC Comment 

Read the FCTF Comment

Briefing U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Staff

The Antiquities Coalition’s Financial Crimes Task Force Chairs John Byrne, Dennis Lormel, Michael Loughnane, and Tess Davis, in addition to Project Director Liz Fraccaro, spoke at a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) Community of Practice Staff Briefing on November 10, 2020. The briefing was presented by an internal community of practice within GAO, which is a learning group aimed at information sharing for those working on matters pertaining to illicit finance. The audience consisted of analysts, methodologists, and general counsel from across GAO mission teams.

The chairs discussed the Antiquities Coalition’s nonpartisan, multi-stakeholder initiative, the Financial Crimes Task Force. The Task Force was convened to develop solutions to protect the art market from criminal misuse, and published its initial findings in a September report, Reframing U.S. Policy on the Art Market: Recommendations for Combating Financial Crimes. The report puts forward 44 concrete recommendations to combat financial crimes in the art market, aimed at the government, art market, financial sector, and international community.

Read the Report

 

FAQ

This FAQ answers frequently asked questions on the new law, why it is needed, and what comes next.

What does the NDAA change in the BSA?
What does the BSA have to do with national security?
Why are these changes needed?
How does this affect the antiquities market?
How will the BSA be applied to dealers in antiquities?
What other industries are regulated by the BSA?
What about the art market?