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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