Exports of Items of Cultural Value and Their Certification

On 25 February 2004 Law no. 80/2004 came into force, amending the original Law no. 71/1994 relating to the sale and export of items of cultural value, in accordance with Law no. 122/2000. The entry of the Czech Republic into the European Union does not invalidate this law. Henceforth it will be necessary that items of cultural value, on being exported from the territory of The Czech Republic, be supplied with the appropriate export certification. The new amendment to the law puts on a completely new footing the export of items of cultural value for a fixed time and is intended especially for instances involving motor vehicles and motorcycles of historical significance being taken abroad. Likewise the new amendment to the law establishes in a new way that the application for the issuing of the certification be submitted exclusively by the owner of the item and simultaneously that it specify the professional and local affiliation of the specialist organizations issuing the certificate. The National Technical Museum is accredited to issue certificates for items of a scientific, technical and industrial nature.

Scientific, Technical and Industrial Items of Cultural Value:

  • motorised and non-motorised road, rail, aviational and water-going means of transport and incomplete items of same more than 50 years old
  • chronometric and astrological instruments and equipment more than 70 years old
  • equipment more than 50 years old for recording, processing, transmitting or reproducing images, sound, data and information
  • polygraphic and office machinery and all means of printing more than 50 years old.
  • means of producing industrially printed textiles
  • domestic and consumer appliances more than 70 years old
  • powered and propulsion machines more than 80 years old
  • production machines and equipment more than 80 years old
  • scientific and technical instruments and equipment more than 80 years old
  • proposals, prototypes and individual or small-series realisations of items intended for industrial production more than 50 years old
  • original sketches, blueprints, diagrammatic documentation and models from the fields of science, technology and architecture (**) more than 50 years old
  • uniforms, signs and badges (*) up to and including 1950
  • documentary material and personal mementoes relating to significant persons from the fields of science, technology and transport (**)

(*) One certificate can be issued for a collection of such designated items. The request must include photographs from which individual items can be identified. A supplementary list of the items making up the collection, together with appropriate identification details, must form an integral part of the application.

(**) One certificate can be issued for a collection of such designated items. The application does not have to be supported by photographs. A supplementary list of the items making up the collection, together, with appropriate identification details which allow each item in the collection to be distinguished, must form an integral part of the application.

Note: If no market value is given, it concerns items of cultural value without any reference to their price.

Territorial Jurisdiction of NTM according to place of permanent residence or registered office of the owner

  • Prague (the capital city)
  • Central Bohemian Region
  • South Bohemian Region
  • Pilsen Region
  • Karlovy Vary Region
  • Ústí Region
  • Liberec Region
  • Hradec Králové Region
  • Pardubice Region

An application for the issuing of a certificate for the long-term export or for export for a specified period of time must be forwarded by the owner to the National Technical Museum in four copies labelled A, B, C and D (only originals, top copies) for each item. Application forms no. 30 990 01 (long-term export from the territory of the Czech Republic) and no. 30 990 2 (export for a specified time from the territory of the Czech Republic) can be purchased in state stationery offices. The owner should have each of the four copies properly typed out or written in block capitals in the designated sections (on the first page of the form). The completed details must be identical, full and legible. Each copy must have attached to it (please do not glue) two photographs (marked correspondingly A, B, C and D) 9×13 cm in size (front and rear views of the item or in the case of motorcycles side views and in the case of multi-track vehicles front-side and rear-side views). It is highly desirable that the application be accompanied by the identification documents relating to the item, for example photocopies of the registration certificate in the case of motorised vehicles. Likewise, we request that the applicant supply his/her contact details (email, telephone) in case there is any need for further identification documentation.

A certificate for export for a specified time can be issued up to a maximum of 5 years. These are issued free of charge and are valid for export on one or several occasions. The owner of the item is obliged within 15 days after the expiry of the period of time for which the certificate is valid to surrender copy D to the specialist organisation which issued the certificate. If the export does not take place, copies B, C and D must be returned to the organisation within the same time frame. PLEASE NOTE that failure to adhere to these legal requirements can result in a fine of up to CZK 20 000.

A certificate for long-term export is valid for a period of 3 years from the day of its issue and the fee for such certification is CZK 500.

Certificates cannot be replaced by evidence from legal experts. An expert cannot insert the evidence into the application.

The owner may use the good offices of a third party to carry out all the procedures connected with the export of an item of cultural value. However, full power of attorney must be given officially with the duly witnessed signature of the owner.

If the owner is a physical or legal entity that does not have permanent residence or registered office on the territory of the Czech Republic, the application should be submitted locally to the appropriate specialist organisation according to the place where the item of cultural value was to be found at the time of its acquisition. If the local affiliation cannot be determined, it is possible to submit the application to whichever appropriate organisation.

Until this law comes into effect items declared cultural monuments under the 20/1987 Act are not affected, as amended by later regulations, neither are items which form part of collections lodged in the Central Records Office under the no. 122/2000 Act. For permission to export these items one must apply directly to the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.

Applications can be sent by registered post to: The National Technical Museum, Export Department, Kostelní 42, 170 78 Prague 7. NTM processes applications for export certification for items of cultural value within the legally binding deadline of 21 calendar days from the day of their receipt. Processed applications can be collected in person by applicants (the owners) or persons empowered by them on signing for them at NTM or, by mutual agreement, will be sent Cash-on-Delivery as provided for by law for a fee of CZK 500. A person acting on behalf of an applicant is obliged in dealing with NTM to provide officially documented proof of his/her power of attorney.

If the applicant is a foreign national with permanent residence outside the territory of the Czech Republic, current practice does not unfortunately allow processed certificates to be sent Cash-on-Delivery abroad. A foreign applicant therefore may collect the certificate in person at the National Technical Museum on payment of the legal fee at the cash desk of the museum’s finance department (you can get information on this from our email address: export@ntm.cz). Similarly, the applicant (owner) can empower (in Czech language, with his notarised signature) a person with permanent residence on the territory of the Czech Republic to collect the certificate for him. An alternative is to send the requisite fee (CZK 500, approx. EUR 16) in the form of a cheque made out to the National Technical Museum in Prague, to its postal address or through the applicant’s bank account by international money transfer. In this case the applicant must cover all bank charges connected with the foreign transfer. The number of the museum’s bank account together with the variable symbol of the aforementioned transfer we can communicate to you on our email address export@ntm.cz. The National Technical Museum will send out processed certificates by registered post to the address of the applicant abroad when the cheque is cleared or when the money transfer arrives in its account. Of course this procedure must be negotiated with the employees of the National Technical Museum in advance.

Method of Export after Entry into the EU

From 1st May 2004, with the exception of Prague Ruzyně airport, border customs controls were abolished, so certificates here will not be stamped. The legal requirement for exporting items of cultural value only with a duly issued certificate is not to change, and this includes any penalties that may be imposed for failure to comply with the law. However, random checks by customs officials at border crossings and elsewhere are not out of the question and experience hitherto shows that such checks are being conducted routinely. It is necessary to contact customs inside the country only in the case of items of cultural value being exported outside the countries of the EU. Such exports are subject to further European Union regulations. In the case of cultural assets being exported from the customs territory of the European Community, the standard European permission issued by the Ministry of Culture is required, in accordance with §4 of Law no. 214/2002. Application forms for the granting of such permission are obtainable from the department for the Safekeeping of Cultural Heritage Items, Museums and Galleries, Ministry of Culture (Milady Horákové 139, Prague 6).