Department for Culture Media and Sport

export licensing

Anyone who wants to export cultural objects which are over 50 years old and above specified financial thresholds out of the UK, whether on a permanent or temporary basis, must apply for an individual Export Licence.

The Export Licensing Unit, which issues export licences for cultural objects, is now part of the Arts Council England (ACE).

Guidance on how to apply for an export licence for objects of cultural interest and details of the financial thresholds above which a licence is required, can be found on the Arts Council website.

However, DCMS are responsible for policy on export licensing and remain the contact point for all policy issues and enquiries.


  • are responsible for legislation on the export of cultural objects 
  • produce the Secretary of State‚Äôs annual report to Parliament on the operation of export controls for objects of cultural interest
  • develop export licensing policy
  • are the UK contact for export licensing in the EU and participate in EU working groups and EU Committee meetings