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Imported cultural values allowed out of Russia
ARTinvestment.RU   10 августа 2008

In spring 2008, the State Duma introduced a bill which, if adopted, would easily take out of the country's values, previously acquired outside the country

In the near future, Russia is already legislation governing the importation, exportation of cultural property is likely to become more liberal.

spring of 2008, the State Duma introduced a bill which, if adopted, would easily take out of the country's values, previously acquired outside the country.

The authors of the bill pointed out that the severe restrictions on the movement of cultural property law have appeared on the Export and Import of Cultural Property in 1993 as a fully adequate response to the situation in the 1990's, when the state was in the field of culture, it is possible say, lost. At that time, the shadow traffic of cultural property has huge scope. Thus, in the early 1990's illegal trafficking of antiquities in the country, tens of millions of dollars. In addition, at that time were observed as the unprecedented intensification of criminal structures in this area, as well as their extensive internationalization, there has been a sharp rise in smuggling of cultural property.

But since then the situation has changed. Increasingly, cultural values are purchased abroad and imported into Russia. Increasingly, Russia is becoming collectors, investors, who can not legally bring their acquisitions in Russia only because, if necessary, their removal from the country of any insurmountable obstacles.

It is obvious that the need for excessively harsh restrictions on the exportation of cultural property no longer needed. Now the other problem states. One of them - the implementation of protectionist policies in respect of imported cultural values and encouraging their influx into the country. In addition, you should all be guaranteed the right of citizens to free movement of cultural property both in Russia and outside it.

The draft federal law «On Making Amendments to the Law of the Russian Federation" On Export and Import of Cultural Property "» it is the introduction of rules allowing the exportation of cultural property created over a hundred years ago, provided that the export of cultural declared value acquired outside the Russian Federation and imported into its territory by legal and natural persons.

It is anticipated that the examination in this case would not be necessary. The person moving the cultural values that should be present only at the customs certificate for their removal. This document must be issued by the authorized agency on the basis of documents confirming the purchase of cultural property outside of Russia and their importation into its territory. Note that this arrangement permits has caused dissatisfaction among the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Customs. They expressed concern about the possible negative consequences associated with the cancellation of the examination. It is possible that in future, those comments would be taken into account in finalizing the bill.

Of course, the state has no plans to completely abandon control of the movement of cultural property. In particular, the conditions for the smooth removal shall become a binding written declaration of moving cultural property, and compliance with the mandatory order of a special registration under the laws of the Export and Import of Cultural Property. That bill provided for compulsory registration could nullify all the efforts of the initiators of change in the law. The thing is that now the order of the special registration of imported cultural property under Article 23 of the Law on Export and Import of Cultural Property, is absent. The situation is so acute that, in late May, the State Duma, even sent a parliamentary inquiry of the Government of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin «On the implementation of the Law of the Russian Federation On 15 April 1993, № 4804-1" On Export and Import of Cultural Property, providing for special registration of imported cultural values and the registration of temporarily imported cultural property ». Recall that, according to the law and the imported temporarily exported cultural property subject to customs control and the special registration. Temporarily, until the entry into force of the order of the special registration imported by individuals for personal use of cultural property, was advised by letter from the SCC of Russia of 31 December 2003 «On the special registration of cultural property». But in 2007, TCF has recognized this letter inactive. At the meeting of the State Duma Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Culture Z. Stepanova pointed to paragraph 5 of Art. 282 of the Customs Code, which specifies that the lack of registration of imported cultural values and the registration of temporarily imported cultural values actually makes it impossible to use in the legislation benefits.

If the review of legislative initiatives have been taken, a private collection in Russia and investing in objects of cultural value, will receive a new impetus to development. This liberalization of the law will not affect any cultural property listed in the security lists and registers (Museum Foundation the Russian Federation, the archival collection of Russian Federation), as well as permanently preserved in state and municipal museums, archives, libraries and other public repositories of cultural values. The ban on the export of such property will be completely saved.

Material prepared Elena Pokidova


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