Protecting Significant Objects of Movable Heritage from Export

We have established good relations with Cultural Property section of the Department of the Arts which controls import and export of movable heritage in Australia.

Why we do this:

  • To ensure that sellers of movable objects are aware of their obligations to notify potential buyers that an export permit may be required
  • To identify significant objects and request formal significance assessment by the Department
  • To suggest improvements to the export process:
    • More comprehensive reporting
    • More time for Expert Examiners to collect information
    • Encourage community input to significance assessment

Below are some of the recent cases where the Department has intervened to protect significant items from export

How you can help

If you know of any object that is at risk of being exported please contact the Department of the Arts Cultural Property Section and let them know your concerns. They have invited us to help, and welcome your contact.

Any information you can provide on the object would be very helpful. Information such as:

Phone on 1800 819 461 or send and email to and say that you would like to report a significant item that is at risk of export (please copy in operating

  • Description of the make and model
  • Why is it important? It’s “significance” will be determined by the criteria set out in Significance 2.0
    • Was it associated with a particular person, place or group?
    • What does it tell us about life when it was used?
    • Is it representative of a particular type or style?
    • Does it demonstrate creative or technical achievement?
    • Is it important for future generations to research?
    • Is it meaningful to a particular community?
    • Do we know it’s history? (where it came from, what it did)
    • Is it rare? How many are still in Australia?
    • Is it complete and in good condition?
    • Can it be used to educate people?

This will help protect our significant movable heritage.

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