Import and export of cultural goods

Exporting cultural goods (such as arts and antiques) is subject to strict rules. In most cases, it requires a licence. For exports of cultural goods, Customs monitors that those goods are accompanied by such a licence. If they are not, the export will be stopped. Customs monitors the import of cultural goods for this as well, focusing on cultural goods that might have been stolen or that have been exported illegally from a non-EU country.

Export licences are issued by the State Inspectorate for Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The question of whether or not a licence is required depends on the value and the age per category of cultural good. For example, for drawings, a minimum threshold value of € 15,000 has been adopted, and a minimum age threshold of 50 years. If a drawing exceeds both these thresholds, an export licence will, as a rule, be required.

Application forms for export licences can be obtained from:

Customs Administration of the Netherlands/Centrale dienst voor in- en uitvoer
Kempkensberg 12 
9722 TB Groningen
The Netherlands

Mailing address 
PO box 3070 
6401 DN Heerlen
The Netherlands

Or call the Customs Information Line.

Fax: +31 88 151 31 82

More information about the threshold values and categories is available on the Internet site of The Information and Heritage Inspectorate.

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