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International Relations, PUBLICATIONS, Structural and Cohesion Policies

Regulating imports of cultural goods [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Krisztina Binder (2nd edition, updated on 18.10.2018),

Römische Münzen

© Manuel Gross / Fotolia

Currently, with the exception of two specific measures for Iraq and Syria, there is no EU legislation covering the import of cultural goods from third countries entering the EU. Moreover, the national legislation introduced by some Member States in this area is divergent.

By ensuring that imports of cultural goods are subject to uniform controls along all EU external borders, the legislative proposal tabled by the Commission in July 2017 aims to prevent the import and storage in the EU of cultural goods illegally removed from a third country, thereby combatting trafficking in cultural goods, depriving terrorists of an income source, and protecting cultural heritage.

In the European Parliament, the Committees on International Trade (INTA) and on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted a joint report on the proposed legislation on 27 September 2018. The report, which aims to ensure a balance between curbing the illegal import of cultural goods and avoiding a disproportionate burden for licit art market operators and customs authorities, is scheduled for debate in plenary in October.

Interactive PDF

Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the import of cultural goods
Committees responsible: (jointly under Rule 55) International Trade (INTA)
Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO)
COM(2017) 375 of 13.7.2017

procedure ref.: 2017/0158(COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure (COD) (Parliament and Council on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)

Rapporteurs: Alessia Maria Mosca (S&D, Italy)
Daniel Dalton (ECR, United Kingdom)
Next steps expected: First-reading vote in plenary

timeline-10 steps-voted in plenary



  1. Pingback: Regulating imports of cultural goods [EU Legislation in Progress] | - February 9, 2018

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