Consultation outcome

Strengthening the Process for Retaining National Treasures

This was published under the 2016 to 2019 May Conservative government
This consultation has concluded

Read the full outcome

Annex B - Final Option Agreement

Detail of outcome

The government’s response to the public consultation paper ‘Strengthening the Process for Retaining our National Treasures’ published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on 15 December 2018.

This response sets out the government’s assessment of the consultation responses, announces plans to introduce a legally binding mechanism to the export deferral process and sets out how this would work.

Original consultation


Proposal to introduce a legally binding mechanism into the export control process for retaining national treasures

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

The UK is home to a wide variety of exceptional cultural objects: our ‘national treasures’, which enrich the culture, heritage and scholarship of audiences today and will do so for future generations.

We are able to retain many of these amazing objects thanks to the export control system which provides a safety-net: the application for a licence to export provides an opportunity to save our most significant cultural objects from leaving the UK.

This consultation outlines proposals to introduce a legally binding mechanism - often referred to as a ‘binding offers’ mechanism - so that owners of cultural objects found to be national treasures, who have confirmed that they are prepared to sell to a museum or gallery or relevant private purchaser at an agreed fair market price, are legally bound to follow through on their commitment to do so.


Template Option Agreement

Updates to this page

Published 15 December 2018
Last updated 19 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Published Strengthening the Process for Retaining National Treasures - Government response to public consultation.

  2. First published.

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