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Regulation on the import of cultural goods

© European Parliament (2018)

The Commission proposal for a Regulation on the import of cultural goods aimed at a number of objectives: The creation of a customs framework for the import into the Union of this kind of goods, the protection of the cultural heritage of third countries at risk of unlawful trade, and the prevention of the financing of further illegal activities.

A detailed cooperation agreement between parliamentary committees on the distribution of competencies on the text was reached in January 2018: CULT would have exclusive competence of the definition of cultural goods, INTA and IMCO committees would have joint responsibility for the rest.

The adopted text prohibits the introduction and import of cultural property removed from the territory of the country in which they were created or discovered in violation of the laws and regulations of that country. It is not of application for goods created or discovered in the customs territory of the Union. It provides for the presentation of an import licence or, in its case, of a declaration by the importer to the customs authorities. A separate regime applies for goods destined to art fairs. An electronic system will facilitate the exchange of information between importers and the customs authorities.

The regulation is pending publication in the official journal at this stage.