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.
Today's proposal marks one of the final steps set out in the Commission's action plan to strengthen the fight against terrorism financing. It will stop this traffic in its tracks by banning the import into the EU of cultural goods exported illegally from their home countries. It comes just days after the Hamburg G20 called on countries to tackle terrorist finance, including the looting and smuggling of antiquities.
The new rules proposed by the Commission 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 including archaeological finds, ancient scrolls, the remains of historical monuments, artwork, collections and antiques. 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 for the import of archaeological objects, parts of monuments and ancient manuscripts and books. Importers will have to obtain import licences from the competent authorities in the EU before bringing such goods into the EU.
- For other categories of cultural goods, importers will now have to go through a more rigorous certification system by submitting a signed statement or affidavit as proof that the goods have been exported legally from the third country.
- 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.
Press conference by Commissioner Pierre Moscovici Commission's proposals to prevent the illicit trade in cultural goods
13 Ιούλιος 2017