Leaving your country
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Export conditions and formalities depend above all on your country of residence, not to be confused with your nationality. If, for example, you are of Russian nationality and your principal residence is in France, then the French regulations apply.

The principle is the same for residents of all member countries of the European Union who would like to import works of art to Switzerland. Two types of goods are subject to restrictions:
National treasures
These are goods belonging to public collections (e.g. museums, libraries), classified historical monuments, archives and cultural property affected by the law of 31/12/1992 pending a decision on their status. National treasures can never be exported definitively. A leave can be authorized in four cases (for a cultural event, restoration, appraisal, or deposit in a public collection).
Cultural property subject to authorization to leave: this refers to cultural property that presents an historical, artistic or archeological interest and that falls under one of 14 specific categories in reference to the customs rates nomenclature. Cultural property must have a certificate attesting that it is not in the nature of a national treasure or an authorization of temporary leave.

National treasures and cultural property require an authorization to leave the territory of the community (request from the customs services in your country) when they are exported to a non-member country of the European Union, in this case to Switzerland. First and foremost, you must determine whether your works of art fall under one of these categories.

Notion of cultural property
Another important point is that the notion of cultural property varies according to the country of residence. Each country sets its own definition of cultural property and national treasures. Your customs services can provide you with a list of cultural property categories subject to control, as well as the cultural departments involved. Don't hesitate to contact the official bodies concerned.
Other goods
Other goods can leave the European Union without prior control. However, the temporary or permanent export of these goods must be performed by an authorized customs agency. To be on the safe side, it is best to get in touch with experts in your country (museum curators) first, to determine what category your works of art fall under. If in doubt, customs can proceed with the consignment of goods: it retains the goods for 10 days to check whether they can be exported without formalities.
Who to contact
You can find the contact details for your country's customs services at www.interdouane.com.

For formalities concerning cultural property, contact the following official bodies:

Regarding customs:
Direction des musées de France
Bureau du mouvement Des oeuvres et de l'inventaire
5, rue Des Pyramides
75001 Paris
Tel.: 33 (0)1 40 15 80 00 (France)
The Department of National Heritage
Cultural Property Unit
2-4 Cockspur Street
London SW1Y 5DH
Tel.: 44 (0)71 211 6164 (UK)
Centre de renseignements douaniers
84, rue d'Hauteville
75498 PARIS Cedex 10
Tel.: 33 (0)1 53 24 68 30 (France)
HM Customs and Excise
Customs Directorate Division 3
New King's Beam House
22 Upper Ground
London SE1 9PJ
Tel.: 44 (0)71 211 1313 (UK)

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