EU legislation and initiatives
Mar 22 2024 | CINOA

New Rules to Restrict the Importation of Cultural Property into the EU

by Pierre Valentin, written 1/2024 and revisited 3/2024

In an effort to tackle the trade in illicit cultural property, the EU has introduced a regulation to control the importation of cultural goods. The new import controls discussed below apply in addition to the existing obligation to declare cultural property to customs and pay import VAT in the EU country where the property is being introduced.

If you own or acquire “non-European” art outside the EU, you should start preparing now to meet the regulation’s requirements. The regulation contains a ‘general prohibition’ which prohibits the introduction into the EU of cultural goods that have been illegally exported from a third country. The regulation defines two categories of cultural goods – a category B of so-called “high-risk” goods and a category C of “low-risk” goods that can be imported subject to obtaining an import licence or submitting an ‘importer statement’. Two derogations apply to both category B and category C objects. Both categories and applicable derogations are described in further detail below.