About Export Licenses
Certain cultural goods that reach or exceed specific age and monetary value thresholds require an individual licence for export out of the UK – whether on a permanent or temporary basis.
The Export Licensing Unit issues these export licences on behalf of the Secretary of State.
The purpose of the export control system is to provide an opportunity for the UK to retain cultural goods judged to be of outstanding national importance that would otherwise be exported. The system is designed to strike a balance, as fairly as possible, between the various interests concerned in any application for an export licence.