European Commission puts forward new rules to clamp down on illegal import and trafficking of cultural goods

On 13 July 2017, the European Commission put forward new rules to clamp down on the illegal import and trafficking of cultural goods from outside the EU, often linked to terrorist financing and other criminal activity.

The new rules foresee a number of actions which should ensure that the importation of illicit cultural goods becomes much more difficult in the future:

A new common EU definition for 'cultural goods'at importation which covers a broad range of objects. The new rules will apply only to cultural goods that have been shown to be most at risk, i.e. those at least 250 years old at the moment of importation;

The introduction of a new licensing system and adjusted certification system according to the kinds of cultural goods.

Customs authorities will also have the power to seize and retain goods when it cannot be demonstrated that the cultural goods in question have been legally exported.

In the next steps the Proposal for Regulations will be submitted to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. The Commission hopes that this will be swiftly adopted in the co-decision process.

You may find further information and the complete press release <link http: rapid press-release_ip-17-1932_en.htm external-link-new-window external link in new>here.