Cultural goods - export licence

This page was last modified on 15-01-2018

On a Community level, the export of cultural goods is subject to a uniform control at the European Union's (EU) external borders.

When the value and age of cultural goods exceeds certain limits, the temporary or permanent export of said goods becomes subject to an export licence issued by the competent authority in the Member State where the cultural goods are lawfully and definitively located.

In Luxembourg, the competent authority is the Ministry of Culture who can issue:

  • either a standard licence;
  • or a specific open licence for a regular and temporary export of a specific cultural object by a person or organisation;
  • or a general open licence for any temporary export of cultural goods belonging to the permanent collection of a museum or other institution.

These licences are valid in all of the European Union.

On a national level, a licence issued by the Minister for Culture is required for the export of objects of cultural interest which:

  • are more than 100 years old;
  • or whose originators died more than 50 ago.

No licences are required for the export of objects of cultural interest created abroad by foreign artists and imported less than 100 years ago, except where these objects have their origin in the territories of the former Duchy of Luxembourg.

Forms / Online services

Carry out your procedure:

Who is concerned

Operators must request a licence to export (whether temporarily or permanently) cultural goods which are listed in annex I of Council Regulation (EC) No 116/2009 of 18 December 2008 on the export of cultural goods which have the status of Community goods released for free circulation.

The operator can request:

  • a normal licence for the export of cultural goods;
  • a specific open licence for the regular and temporary export of a specific cultural good for exhibition in a third country provided the person or organisation exhibiting or using the good is:
    • the legal owner or holder of the object;
    • and is offering the necessary guarantees for the good to be returned in good condition to the European Union and that there will no doubt that the good is that described in the licence;
  • a general open licence for the temporary export of cultural goods belonging to the permanent collection of a museum or any other institution for exhibition in a third country provided the institution offers all the necessary guarantees for the good to be returned in good condition to the European Union.

The exporter has to apply for the licence from the competent authority:

  • in the Member State on whose territory the cultural good was lawfully and definitively located on 1 January 1993;
  • or, after this date, in the Member State on whose territory the good is located following:
    • either lawful and definitive dispatch from another Member State;
    • or importation from a third country;
    • or re-importation from a third country after lawful dispatch from a Member State to said third country.

Cultural goods subject to an export licence

Cultural goods listed in categories 1 to 15 are only concerned if their value is equal to or exceeds the financial thresholds listed hereafter.

1 Which are more than 50 years old and do not belong to their originators.

Objects

Customs tariff code
(CN code)

1. Archeological objects more than 100 years old and which are products of:

  • excavations and finds on land or under water
  • archeological sites
  • archeological collections



9705 00 00
9706 00 00

2. Elements forming an integral part of artistic, historical or religious monuments which have been dismembered, of an age exceeding 100 years

9705 00 00
9706 00 00

3. Pictures and paintings, other than those included in categories 4 or 5, executed entirely by hand in any medium and on any material1

9701

4. Watercolours, gouaches and pastels executed entirely by hand on any material1

9701

5. Mosaics in any material executed entirely by hand, other than those falling in categories 1 or 2, and drawings in any medium executed entirely by hand on any material 1

6914
9701

6. Original engravings, prints, serigraphs and lithographs with their respective plates and original posters1

9702 00 00
8442 50 99

7. Original sculptures or statuary and copies produced by the same process as the original1, other than those in category 1

9703 00 00

8 Photographs, films and negatives thereof1

3704
3705
3706
4911 91 80

9. Incunabula and manuscripts, including maps and musical scores, singly or in collections1

9702 00 00
9706 00 00
4901 10 00
4901 99 00
4904 00 00
4905 91 00
4905 99 00
4906 00 00

10. Books more than 100 years old, singly or in collections

9705 00 00
9706 00 00

11. Printed maps more than 200 years old

9706 00 00

12. Archives, and any elements thereof, of any kind or any medium which are more than 50 years old

3704
3705
3706
4901
4906
9705 00 00
9706 00 00

13. a) Collections and specimens from zoological, botanical, mineralogical or anatomical collections

      b) Collections of historical, palaeontological, ethnographic or numismatic interest

9705 00 00

9705 00 00

14. Means of transport more than 75 years old

9705 00 00

15. Any other antique items not included in categories A.1 to A.14

a) between 50 and 100 years old:

- toys, games
- glassware
- articles of goldsmiths' or silversmiths' wares
- furniture
- optical, photographic or cinematographic apparatus
- musical instruments
- clocks and watches and parts thereof
- articles of wood
- pottery
- tapestries
- carpets
- wallpaper
- arms

b) more than 100 years old

 

 

Chapter 95
7013
7014
Chapter 94
Chapter 90
Chapter 92
Chapter 91
Chapter 44
Chapter 69
5805 00 00
Chapter 57
4814
Chapter 93

9706 00 00

NB: Only official texts are authentic.

Financial thresholds applicable to certain categories under points 1 to 15 above

Value (in EUR)

Category

Any value

  • 1 (archeological objects)
  • 2 (dismembered monuments)
  • 9 (incunabula and manuscripts)
  • 12 (archives)

15,000

  • 5 (mosaics and drawings)
  • 6 (engravings)
  • 8 (photographs)
  • 11 (printed maps)

30,000

  • 4 (watercolours, gouaches and pastels)

50,000

  • 7 (statuary)
  • 10 (books)
  • 13 (collections)
  • 14 (means of transport)
  • 15 (any other object)

150,000

  • 3 (pictures)
NB: Only official texts are authentic.

Prerequisites

Member States can refuse to grant an export licence if the goods are protected by the national legislation on national treasures possessing artistic, historic or archaeological value.

In Luxembourg, the list of buildings and objects classified as national monuments is published every 5 years in the Mémorial (official journal).

Under certain circumstances, a Member State may allow the export of certain cultural goods without licence.

How to proceed

Standard licence

Application for a standard licence

A standard licence can be used for the export of cultural goods.

The exporter must submit an application for a licence to export cultural goods to the Ministry of Culture. The application must be accompanied by the following:

  • documents, such as supporting documents (invoice, expert's report, etc.), providing all necessary information on the cultural good and its legal situation at the time of the application;
  • a photo or if possible, several photos, duly authenticated, in black and white or colour, of the cultural good concerned (mimum size: 8 cm x 12 cm).

The application can be completed in German, French or English. For any other language, the Ministry may request a translation.

The Ministry may, where needed, request the physical presentation of the cultural good to be exported.

Using a standard licence

The Ministry of Culture issues a separate licence for each dispatch of cultural goods and, where necessary, several licences for a single dispatch containing several cultural goods.

After the processing of the application, the Ministry keeps the original application (copy 1) and issues 2 other copies to the applicant:

  • copy 2 is for the holder of the licence;
  • copy 3 is sent back to the Ministry of Culture after the good has been exported.

The exporter must submit both copies (2 and 3) to the competent customs office together with the export declaration (definitive or temporary) or, where required, together with the ATA carnet. The export customs office returns the duly completed copy 2 to the exporter.

A reference to the licence (European document code E012 followed by the licence number) must be made in box 44 on the export declaration or on the ATA carnet.

Copy 3 must accompany the goods until the customs office at the external borders of the European Union who will send it back to the Ministry of Culture.

Validity of the standard licence

The standard export licence is valid for 12 months at the most from the date of issue.

In the case of temporary exports, the licence may indicate the deadline by which the cultural good must be re-imported into Luxembourg.

Whenever an export licence has expired or not been used, the holder must immediately send back all copies in his possession to the Ministry of Culture.

Specific open licence

Application for a specific open licence

Specific open licences cover the regular and temporary export of cultural goods used or presented during exhibitions in third countries.

The exporter must submit an application for a specific open licence to the Ministry of Culture. The application must be submitted together with:

  • documents, such as supporting documents (invoice, expert's report, etc.), providing all necessary information on the cultural good and its legal situation at the time of the application;
  • a photo or if possible, several photos, duly authenticated, in black and white or colour, of the cultural good concerned (mimum size: 8 cm x 12 cm).

Using a specific open licence

After the processing of the request, the Ministry issues a specific open licence to the exporter.

The exporter must present the licence to the competent customs office together with the temporary export declaration.

A reference to the licence (European document code E012 followed by the licence number) must be made in box 44 of the export declaration.

The licence must accompany the goods until the customs office at the external borders of the European Union who return the licence to the exporter for use on a subsequent occasion.

Validity of the specific open licence

The specific open licence is valid for 5 years at the most from the date of issue.

EU Member States may revoke the licence at any time if the conditions under which it was issued are no longer met. Where a Member State has not recovered the licence and to prevent any irregular use, it will inform the Commission who will inform the other Member States.

General open licence

Application for a general open licence

A general open licence covers every temporary export of cultural goods belonging to the permanent collection of a museum or other institution.

The exporter must submit an application for a general open licence to the Ministry of Culture. The application must be accompanied by the following:

  • documents, such as supporting documents (invoice, expert's report, etc.), providing all necessary information on the cultural good and its legal situation at the time of the application;
  • a photo or if possible, several photos, duly authenticated, in black and white or colour, of the cultural good concerned (mimum size: 8 cm x 12 cm).

Using a general open licence

After the processing of the request, the Ministry issues a general open licence to the exporter.

The exporter must present the licence to the competent customs office together with the temporary export declaration.

The licence must be presented together with a list of exported goods drawn up on letterheaded paper of the institution concernied. Each page of this list must be:

  • signed by a person from the institution and who must be named on the licence;
  • and stamped with the stamp of the institution as placed on the licence.

A reference to the licence (European document code E012 followed by the licence number) must be made in box 44 of the export declaration.

The licence must accompany the goods until the customs office at the external borders of the European Union who will return the licence to the exporter for use on a subsequent occasion.

Validity of the general open licence

The general open licence is valid for 5 years at the most from the date of issue.

Who to contact

4, Boulevard F-D Roosevelt
L-2912 - Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 247 86 600
Fax: (+352) 29 21 86 / 40 24 47
Email info@mc.public.lu