Selecting a language will automatically trigger the translation of the page content.

Can we send a piece of art to the foreigner?

Verified 25 March 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Yes, under certain conditions.

The rules vary depending on whether the work is classified as a national treasure or a cultural asset.

To qualify as national treasury, the property must fulfil any of the following:

  • Belonging to public collections, especially those of museums in France
  • Be classified as historical monuments and archives
  • Present a major interest in national heritage from a historical, artistic or archaeological point of view

A national treasure can be sent to the foreigner, but its return to the national territory is obligatory.

Apart from these 3 cases, the work is a cultural property that is not classified as a national treasure.

Cultural property

Exit of cultural property is permitted in the following cases:

  • Recovery
  • Expertise
  • Possible sale
  • Cultural Exhibition

Exiting a property outside the national territory may be temporary or permanent.

Please note

the work in question may belong to a private owner (private individual, art gallery...) as well as to a public institution.

The export of cultural property of historical, artistic or archaeological interest is subject to authorisation if it has a certain age and value.

Cultural property subject to export authorisation

Type

Value

National antiquities and archaeological objects directly from excavations over 100 years old

Whatever the value

Archaeological objects older than 100 years and currencies older than 1500 years not directly from excavations

€3,000

Currencies after 1500 years of more than 100 years

€15 000

Elements forming an integral part of monuments, originating from the dismemberment, over 100 years of age

Whatever the value

Paintings and paintings over 50 years old

€30 000

Watercolours, gouaches and pastels over 50 years

€50 000

Drawings over 50 years old

€30,000

Engravings, prints, silkscreen prints, lithographs, posters over 50 years old

€20,000

Photographs, films and negatives older than 50 years

€25,000

Books and musical scores printed, isolated or in collections over 50 years old

€50 000

Printed Geographical Maps Over 100 Years

€25,000

Zoological, botanical, mineralogical, anatomical collections or specimens

and collections of historical, paleontological, ethnographic or numismatic interest

€50 000

The process of exiting the territory of one of these goods differs depending on whether the goods are to be sent to or outside theEU: titleContent.

Warning  

you have no steps to take if your property has been in France for less than 2 years.

Towards the EU

Temporary Output

The exit procedure can be done online (online service) or by courier.

Internet request

You must complete a Temporary Exit Authorisation (TSA) request for a duration corresponding to the subject of the request (for example, the duration of the restore or exposure). The return date must be indicated on the AST.

Online applications for the circulation of cultural goods

If no reply is received within 2 months, the authorisation shall be deemed to have been granted.

Please note

your acknowledgement serves as evidence that you have done the right thing.

By mail

You must complete a Temporary Exit Authorisation (TSA) request for a duration corresponding to the subject of the request (for example, the duration of the restore or exposure). The return date must be indicated on the AST.

Application for temporary release of cultural property

Your application must be sent to the Ministry responsible for culture by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

Who shall I contact

If no reply is received within 2 months, the authorisation shall be deemed to have been granted.

Please note

your acknowledgement serves as evidence that you did the right thing.

Final Output

Internet request

You must complete a final export certificate application. This certificate attests that the property does not have the quality of a national treasure and can therefore leave France.

Online applications for the circulation of cultural goods

If no reply is received within 4 months, the certificate is considered granted.

Please note

your acknowledgement serves as evidence that you have done the right thing.

The certificate is attached to the property and does not mention the name of the owner. It does not need to be renewed after a sale and must be transferred to the new owner with the property.

By mail

You must complete a final export certificate application. He attests that the property does not have the quality of a national treasure and can therefore be taken out of France.

Application for an export licence for cultural property (in the EU)

Your application must be sent to the Ministry responsible for culture by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

Who shall I contact

If no reply is received within 4 months, the certificate is considered granted.

Please note

your acknowledgement serves as evidence that you have done the right thing.

The certificate is attached to the property and does not mention the name of the owner. It does not need to be renewed after a sale and must be transferred to the new owner with the property.

Outside the EU

Temporary Output

Complete the following 2 steps:

  • Temporary exit permission (AST)
  • Export licence

These 2 steps can be done online (online service) or by mail.

Internet request

You must complete a Temporary Exit Authorisation (TSA) request for a duration corresponding to the subject of the request (for example, the duration of the restore or exposure). The return date must be indicated on the AST.

Online applications for the circulation of cultural goods

If no reply is received within 2 months, the SSA shall be considered granted.

You must also apply for an export licence for this online service.

If no response is received within 2 months, the licence is considered granted.

The licence is only usable once, for 1 year. Once it has expired, it must be renewed.

If you are the author of the work, the licence is not required. You can make a detailed inventory, on free paper in duplicate, dated and signed.

The inventory shall be presented to the customs office of exit which shall keep a copy of it.

The property must return within 3 years.

In the event that the work is not re-imported, the customs office shall indicate this on the inventory.

Please note

your acknowledgements serve as proof that you have done the right thing.

By mail

You must complete a Temporary Exit Authorisation (TSA) request for a duration corresponding to the subject of the request (for example, the duration of the restore or exposure). The return date must be indicated on the AST.

Application for temporary release of cultural property

Your application must be sent to the Ministry responsible for culture by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

Who shall I contact

If no reply is received within 2 months, the SSA shall be considered granted.

You must also apply for an export licence.

Application for an export licence for cultural property (outside the EU)

This request should be sent to the French customs office of your department, preferably by registered letter with notice of receipt.

If no response is received within 2 months, the licence is considered granted.

The licence is only usable once, for 1 year. Once it has expired, it must be renewed.

If you are the author of the work, the licence is not required. You can make a detailed inventory, on free paper in duplicate, dated and signed.

The inventory shall be presented to the customs office of exit which shall keep a copy of it.

The property must return within 3 years.

In the event that the work is not re-imported, the customs office shall indicate this on the inventory.

Please note

your acknowledgements serve as proof that you have done the right thing.

Final Output

Complete the following 2 steps:

  • Final export certificate
  • Export licence

These 2 steps can be done online (online service) or by mail.

Internet request

You must complete a final export certificate application. This certificate attests that the property does not have the quality of a national treasure and can therefore leave France.

Online applications for the circulation of cultural goods

If no reply is received within 4 months, the certificate is considered granted.

The certificate is attached to the property and does not mention the name of the owner. It does not need to be renewed after a sale and must be transferred to the new owner with the property.

You must also apply for an export licence for this online service.

If no response is received within 2 months, the licence is considered granted.

The licence is only usable once, for 1 year. Once it has expired, it must be renewed.

If you are the author of the work, the licence is not required. You can make a detailed inventory, on free paper in duplicate, dated and signed.

The inventory shall be presented to the customs office of exit which shall keep a copy of it.

The property must return within 3 years.

In the event that the work is not re-imported, the customs office shall indicate this on the inventory.

Please note

your acknowledgements serve as proof that you have done the right thing.

By mail

You must complete a final export certificate application. He attests that the property does not have the quality of a national treasure and can therefore be taken out of France.

Application for an export licence for cultural property (in the EU)

Your application must be sent to the Ministry responsible for culture by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

Who shall I contact

If no reply is received within 4 months, the certificate is considered granted.

The certificate is attached to the property and does not mention the name of the owner. It does not need to be renewed after a sale and must be transferred to the new owner with the property.

You must also apply for an export licence.

Application for an export licence for cultural property (outside the EU)

This request should be sent to the French customs office of your department, preferably by registered letter with notice of receipt.

If no response is received within 2 months, the licence is considered granted.

The licence is only usable once, for 1 year. Once it has expired, it must be renewed.

If you are the author of the work, the licence is not required. You can make a detailed inventory, on free paper in duplicate, dated and signed.

The inventory shall be presented to the customs office of exit which shall keep a copy of it.

The property must return within 3 years.

In the event that the work is not re-imported, the customs office shall indicate this on the inventory.

Please note

your acknowledgements serve as proof that you have done the right thing.

The final export of cultural property outside the EU of a minimum value of €5 000 shall be subject to the payment of a flat-rate 6% the selling price or its value for duty.

You must report and pay this tax within one month of the transaction unless you are:

  • You sell your property to museums or public libraries
  • You re-export the imported items when you install them in France
  • You export your work of which you are the author, provided that you have continuous ownership of it since its creation.

In this case, you do not have to report or pay this flat tax.

In other cases, your return must be made using a form.

Tax on sales of precious metals, jewellery, art, collectibles and antiques

If you have opted for the capital gains tax plan, you must complete another form.

Statement of option for the general capital gains tax regime - Sales of precious metals, jewellery, objects of art, collection and antiquity

You must send either form to the Preferential Tax Service by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

Illegal shipment of cultural property can be punished with up to 2 years in prison €450 000 fine.

National Treasury

Exit of a national treasure is exceptionally permitted in the following cases:

  • Recovery
  • Expertise
  • Participation in a cultural event
  • Exposure
  • Deposit in a public collection

Exiting a national treasure outside the national territory can only be temporary, with return required.

Please note

the work in question may belong to a private owner (private individual, art gallery...) as well as to a public institution. Qualified in national treasury is made after consideration and proposal by the advisory commission of the national treasures of the museum service of France.

Exiting the territory of a national treasure differs depending on whether the property is to be sent to or outside theEU: titleContent.

Towards the EU

A temporary exit permit (TSA) must be requested. This can be done online or by mail.

Internet request

You must complete a TSA and specify a duration corresponding to the subject of the application (for example, the duration of the restore, the duration of the exposure). The return date must be indicated on the AST.

Online applications for the circulation of cultural goods

If no reply is received within 2 months, the SSA shall be considered granted.

Please note

your acknowledgement serves as evidence that you did the right thing.

By mail

You must complete a TSA and specify a duration corresponding to the subject of the application (for example, the duration of the restore, the duration of the exposure). The return date must be indicated on the AST.

Application for temporary exit from a national treasure

Your application must be sent to the Ministry responsible for culture by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

Who shall I contact

If no reply is received within 2 months, the SSA shall be considered granted.

Please note

your acknowledgement serves as evidence that you did the right thing.

Out of EU

Complete the following 3 steps:

  • Authorisation to leave the territory (AST)
  • Export licence
  • Export Declaration

These 3 steps can be done online (online service) or by mail.

Internet request

You must complete a Temporary Exit Authorisation (TSA) request for a duration corresponding to the subject of the request (for example, restore time, exposure time). The return date must be indicated on the AST.

Online applications for the circulation of cultural goods

If no reply is received within 2 months, the SSA shall be considered granted.

You must also apply for an export licence for this online service.

If no response is received within 2 months, the licence is considered granted.

The licence is only usable once, for 1 year. Once it has expired, it must be renewed.

If you are the author of the work, the licence is not required. You can make a detailed inventory, on free paper in duplicate, dated and signed.

The inventory shall be presented to the customs office of exit which shall keep a copy of it.

The work has to return within 3 years.

In the event that the work is not re-imported, the customs office shall indicate this on the inventory.

Finally, you must make an export declaration with the customs service to leave the EU territory, also in this online service.

Please note

your acknowledgements serve as proof that you have taken the necessary steps.

By mail

You must complete a Temporary Exit Authorisation (TSA) request for a duration corresponding to the subject matter of the request (for example, duration of restoration, expertise or exposure). The return date must be indicated on the AST.

Application for temporary exit from a national treasure

Your application must be sent to the Ministry responsible for culture by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

Who shall I contact

If no reply is received within 2 months, the SSA shall be considered granted.

You must also apply for an export licence.

Application for an export licence for cultural property (outside the EU)

This request should be sent to the French customs office of your department, preferably by registered letter with notice of receipt.

If no response is received within 2 months, the licence is considered granted.

The licence is only usable once, for 1 year. Once it has expired, it must be renewed.

If you are the author of the work, the licence is not required. You can make a detailed inventory, on free paper in duplicate, dated and signed.

The inventory shall be presented to the customs office of exit which shall keep a copy of it.

The work has to return within 3 years.

In the event that the work is not re-imported, the customs office shall indicate this on the inventory.

Please note

your acknowledgements serve as proof that you have done the right thing.

The illegal sending of a national treasure can be punished with up to 2 years in prison €450 000 fine.

To small and medium-sized and micro-entreprises, do you have a business project, a difficulty or a question ?

Quick and simple public service: you will be contacted over the phone by one of our experts.

Speak with an advisor on Place des Entreprises