Export and import of cultural property.

Memorandum D19-4-1 memorandum has been updated (on January 23 2023), to update the list of areas with greater issues of conflict or recognized as being sources for the illicit trafficking of cultural property.
1. The Cultural Property Export and Import Act and its regulations are designed to protect Canada’s national heritage through the establishment of export controls for objects of historical, scientific, and cultural significance.

2. The Cultural Property Export and Import Act and its regulations enable Canada to meet its obligations under the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the “Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property” to recover and return illegally imported cultural property.

3. The Department of Canadian Heritage is responsible for administering the Act. Contact the Department directly for information about the Act, export permits and import controls.

Export control is accomplished by means of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Control List (Control List), which defines categories of cultural property according to age, weight and dollar value limits. The broad categories include mineralogy, palaeontology and archaeology; ethnographic material culture; military objects; objects of applied and decorative art; objects of fine art; scientific or technological objects; textual records, graphic records and sound recordings and; musical instruments.

The Control List does not apply to objects which are less than 50 years old, or made by a person still living. It should be noted that other restrictions may apply to individual categories identified on the Control List.