Monday, 6/4/2020 | 7:06 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

Answer – The import of cultural goods into the EU – E-002036/2018

The proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the import of cultural goods aims to prevent the import and storage in the EU of cultural goods which have been illicitly exported from a third country, thereby protecting cultural heritage and combatting trafficking in cultural goods, in particular where the latter may contribute to financing terrorism.

The Union has already implemented all the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions(1) and has prohibited trade(2) in a number of products from Iraq and Syria, including cultural goods. However, these two measures alone cannot effectively prevent trafficking.

Unscrupulous individuals can still introduce illicit cultural goods to the Union by exporting them via other third countries. Moreover, cultural heritage is not at risk only in Iraq and Syria, world heritage sites are currently also at risk in Yemen, Libya, Mali and Afghanistan. A holistic rather than a symptomatic approach is necessary to combat illicit trade in cultural goods.

In particular regarding the documentary requirements for antique and modern books, the proposal requires an import licence to be obtained only for incunabula, i.e. books printed before 1501, of which very few, if any, were produced outside Europe.

For rare books, only a declaration by the importer would be needed that the good has been exported legally as well as a standardised description of the item — which largely corresponds to the information already always provided by the seller to prospective buyers. Finally, contemporary books are not concerned by the proposal, the scope of which would only cover cultural goods of a minimum 250 years of age.

(1) United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2199(2015), 2253(2015) and 2347(2017).
(2) Council Regulations (EC) 1210/2003 (trade sanctions against Iraq) and (EU) 36/2012 (trade sanctions against Syria).