Monday, February 18, 2008

Why Valuation Matters to Art Smugglers

Customs and Border Protection checks the reported value of imports against its database of reported values on similar goods. When the current import has a value that is out of line with the statistics, CBP can issue a rejection notice or a CF28 request for information.

One wonders whether that is what started this story unraveling. A missing painting by the famed artist Jean-Michel Basquiat has been located in a warehouse in Manhattan. The painting had gone missing in Brazil after the bankruptcy and arrest of its owner. According to the article, the $8 million painting was declared to have a value of $100. That sounds like a 592 fraud penalty to me, although I think it is safe to assume that the importer of the painting may have bigger issues coming his or her way.

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