Dear collectors,

as some of you may have heard already, the Commissioner for Culture and Media of the German Federal Government is currently preparing an amendment of the German Act towards the Protection of Cultural Heritage (Kulturgutschutzgesetz; KultgSchG).

This amendment does not only include antiques or coins, but also stamps that exceed a value of 2,500 Euros. They will be subject to increased measures of care which include being able to provide proof about their collection and purchase history for a minimum of 20 years back in time.

The government will also reserve the right to register private collections as “national treasure” which renders them ineligible for export in their entirety, and burdens the collector with a considerable amount of additional obligations.

It would be an amendment controversial not just due to its content, but also the missing transparency of how the bill will be passed. Commercial interests were banned from the preparations immediately and systematically forcing dealers into appealing to the German Minister of the Exterior to be able to participate in the preparation conference that took place in December 2014. Also the protocol for the official hearing on April 22, 2015 still hasn’t been published as of July 2015. The ministers who will vote for or against the amendment thus still do not have any clue about the position that representatives of commercial interests are taking.

This is why we need to take a stand and demonstrate that hundreds of thousands of collectors do not approve of such an act that creates administrative barriers and renders any form of collection impossible to continue. The new act must not be the reason for objects that do not have a thorough purchase history to drastically fall in value or to be rendered completely untradeable.

We are therefore asking you to sign the following online petition which we support in its entirety. It will only take you a few minutes to help towards an internationally open trade. Please feel free to sign either with your name or anonymously.

Please also feel free to inform your collector friends about the petition. The more people will sign it the more assured we can be about our voices being heard.

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