Today marks the final day that feedback can be given on the EU's controversial regulation targeting the import of art and antiques into the EU.
The initiative aims to clamp down on the illegal trafficking of cultural goods. It is set to introduce stringent rules on importing cultural goods into the EU, including the issue of import licences.
The intentions of the Regulation are clearly good, but it is clear this will have a significant impact on the EU’s art and antiques import markets. It has indeed been met with hostility. Comments have been put forward by associations including CINOA (the International Confederation of Art and Antique dealer associations) and IADAA (the International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art).
In particular, dealers in the EU have raised concerns that it will put them at a disadvantage against competitors in other countries, who will not be subject to the stringent regulations.
Following Brexit, one of those competitors is now the UK, who has chosen not to adhere to the regulation.
Daniel Dalton, a former member of European Parliament and current chief executive of the British Chamber of Commerce in Brussels told the Art Newspaper that “It [has] become clear to me in discussions with decision makers that the UK would not go ahead with the new law after Brexit”.
Of course, despite Brexit, the impact of the regulation will inevitably seep into the market here. UK dealers will need to adhere to the rules when selling goods to the EU.
However, overall this decision may well give the UK an exciting advantage. Particularly since neither the US nor the UK art markets will be subject to the measures.
It is expected that the new law will be in force in 2025. Comments can be made (and seen) here.