How to apply for a licence to export cultural goods, including antiques, furniture and archaeological items.
Temporary procedure due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Export Licencing Unit (ELU) has put in place a new temporary procedure to issue export licences during the current exceptional circumstances.
Please do not send applications to the ELU office. ELU staff are working remotely and they can no longer accept paper applications. Instead, you’ll need to complete an application form digitally and email it to them. They cannot accept forms that have been printed, filled in by hand and then scanned back in.
Full details of how to apply using the new digital procedure can be found on the Arts Council England website.
Cultural goods include:
- works of art
- means of transport
- archaeological items
Check if you need a licence by reading the Art Council’s guidance.
You may need a licence even if you’re exporting inside the EU, or on a temporary basis.
There’s a ban on supplying art works, collectors’ pieces and antiques to North Korea and Syria.
Some countries may have import rules for certain goods. You can check by talking to your importer or getting help researching your export market.
How to apply
To download the application form and for guidance on applying for an export licence, please refer to the Arts Council England website.
What happens next
Your application may be passed to an expert adviser in a national museum or gallery. If they’re against the export on the grounds of national importance, your application will be sent to the Reviewing Committee.
The committee will recommend whether the decision should be put on hold to let a UK institution or individual raise funds to buy the item.
You should get a decision within 28 days of your application being received.
If your application for an export licence is accepted, you may need to follow certain conditions.