Culture goods (such as art and antiques)

You may not always simply bring in and import or export cultural goods (art and antiques) This also includes via postal services or a courier company. Unless you have a licence for the import or export.  Examples of art objects and antiques:

  • paintings
  • prints
  • mosaics
  • old documents and books
  • archaeological items
  • manuscripts
  • geographical maps
  • archives
  • designer jewellery
  • furniture

If tradesmen abroad offer you extremely low prices for cultural goods, you may nearly always assume this to be illegal or counterfeit.

I want to bring in art to the Netherlands

Bringing in or importing art or antiques to the Netherlands and the EU? Or having it sent outside the Netherlands and the EU. In many cases this is not easily done. If something is considered a cultural good often depends on the value and age of the goods. Are you unsure? Let yourself be informed. Ask if an import licence is required for import.  Inquiries can be made, for instance, at:

  • the Dutch embassy in the country where you purchase the art object
  • the Customs Administration of the country where you purchase the art object
  • the Ministry of Culture of the country where you purchase the art object
  • (in the Netherlands): the State Inspectorate for Cultural Heritage

Within the EU

Are you travelling within the European Union (EU)? Rules and restrictions then also applies to certain goods.

More information?

Check the website of the Erfgoedinspectie (State Inspectorate for Cultural Heritage) (only available in Dutch - part of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science).

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