Exporting objects of cultural interest if there’s no Brexit deal

If you intend sending any of your finds (coins, brooches and the like) abroad, you need to be in possession of the requisite documentation from Arts Council England (ACE). Currently two licensing schemes are in place:

  1. UK law for exports to any foreign destination;
  2. EU regulations for objects travelling outside the EU.

Although licences are often required under both regimes for objects intended for export outside the EU, the UK system has been adapted so that exporters usually only need to obtain one specific individual export licence (which may cover more than one object).

If after 29 March 2019 when the UK leaves the EU and there’s no deal with the EU in place then the licensing will change. This is what you’ll need to do to export from the UK to the EU and the rest of the world.

In the autumn of 2018 a Statutory Instrument will be laid that would revoke the relevant EU regulations in relation to the cultural objects export licensing system on exit day.

From that date, if there’s no deal, you would need only a UK licence to export cultural objects from the UK to any destination, and the government will stop issuing EU licences. Arts Council England (ACE) will distribute guidance on any changes to the UK licensing system to reflect new procedures.

Further information will follow in the New Year about whether and how the UK export licensing system will have regard to legal and definitive dispatch from other countries.

EU licences issued by ACE before exit day would be valid for export at UK borders after exit day for the duration of their validity (the period of validity for EU export licences cannot exceed 12 months).

Likewise, the offences, rights, obligations, and restrictions relating to licences will continue to apply after exit day. For example, if a person is granted an EU licence in the UK before exit day on the condition that the object be returned to the UK within one year, and after exit day acts under the authority of the licence by removing the item from the UK but fails to comply with that condition by not returning the object, that will still constitute an offence under UK legislation in the same way as it would have before exit day. For further information see: –


Always mark your envelope or container  ‘Numismatic Specimens’ rather than ‘Coins’– it helps deflect prying eyes.



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