Future import restrictions guidance

Following earlier updates last year, we can now report that the new EU import of cultural goods regulation has been passed - although its most significant provisions will not come into force for several years.

When they do come into force licences will be required when importing into the EU any archaeological goods more than 250 years old originating outside the bloc.

Before licences are granted importers of archaeological objects will need to demonstrate either that they were lawfully exported from their country of origin or held for five years in another country prior to 1972 and lawfully exported from that country.  For some archaeological objects demonstrating this will prove very difficult.
Additionally, for non-EU antiquities worth more than €18,000 and for 200 year old non-EU paintings, statuary, sculpture, engravings, books and property relating to history worth more than €18,000 importers will need to make declarations relating to their lawful export.
We don’t know precisely when the measures will come into force, but the expectation is between three and six years from now, since the creation of a new EU-wide customs database and licensing system will be required.
For more information see the summary