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MMD > Archives > April 2000 > 2000.04.15 > 01Prev  Next

European Export Restrictions
By Hans van Oost

Dear MMD,  Most European countries have imposed legal restrictions
against the export of goods considered to be of historical and cultural
value.  According to the British Department of Culture,

 "Any cultural goods manufactured or produced more than 50 years before
  the date of export, and valued above certain thresholds (in the case
  of mechanical musical instruments this threshold is GBP 39.600),
  require an export licence (unless they were imported into the UK less
  than 50 years ago).

 "Every application that falls within the scope of control is referred
  by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to the relevant expert
  adviser (normally a Director or senior curator of a national
  collection) to consider whether the object of outstanding national
  importance.  In making a decision on this, the adviser judges the
  object against the Waverley criteria:

 "- Is the object so closely connected with British history and
  national life that its departure would be a misfortune?

 "- Is it of outstanding aesthetic importance?

 "- Is it of outstanding significance for the study of some particular
  branch of art, learning or history?

 "If the expert adviser considers that the object meets one or more of
  the Waverley criteria, the licence application is referred to the
  Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art.  If the Committee
  decides that the object does meet one or more of the Waverley criteria
  it may recommend that the Secretary of State defers granting an export
  licence in order to give a UK institution or collector the opportunity
  to acquire the object."

The French and Dutch governments have similar legislation for export
of these goods.  I send this as a warning to prospective buyers of
mechanical musical instruments outside Europe.  I would strongly advise
any prospective buyer to get information about possible export
restrictions before buying a major instrument here.

Best regards from the Netherlands,

Hans van Oost, Gen. Secretary and Webmaster,
Kring van Draaiorgelvrienden

 [ Thanks for the research and your report, Hans.  -- Robbie

(Message sent Sat 15 Apr 2000, 10:50:20 GMT, from time zone GMT+0200.)

Key Words in Subject:  European, Export, Restrictions

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