27.09.2018, European Interest. Members of the European Parliament want to put an end to the illicit trafficking of cultural goods from outside the Union. The proposed measures to stop the illegal trafficking of cultural goods were approved today by MEPs on the International Trade and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committees of the European Parliament.
With the exception of two specific measures for Iraq and Syria, there is currently no EU legislation covering the import of cultural goods from third countries to the EU. The black market of antiquities and cultural goods continues to be the most persistent illegal trade in the world. In the new rules, there will be a common EU definition for cultural goods in the context of import and a certification system to guarantee the legality of the imported cultural goods.
Jarosław Wałęsa MEP, the EPP Group Shadow Rapporteur on the International Trade Committee, said: “We need common rules on trade with third countries to ensure effective protection against the loss of cultural goods, the preservation of cultural heritage and the prevention of terrorist financing through the sale of looted cultural heritage to buyers in the EU. Today we made a first step towards a well-balanced legislation which will protect cultural heritage while enabling the concerned stakeholders to keep trading without barriers.”
Sabine Verheyen MEP, the Spokeswoman on behalf of the Internal Market Committee, welcomed the European Commission’s proposal, especially with this year being the European year of cultural heritage.