Part 6 of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcements Act 2007 provides immunity from seizure for cultural objects which are loaned from overseas to temporary public exhibitions in approved museums or galleries in the UK where conditions are met when the object enters the UK.

The conditions are:

  • the object is usually kept outside the UK
  • the object is not owned by a person who is resident in the UK
  • the import of the object does not contravene any law
  • the object is brought into the UK for the purpose of a temporary public exhibition at an approved museum or gallery
  • the museum or gallery has published information about the object where required to do so by Regulations.

The authority responsible for approving a museum or gallery is:

  • The Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport in relation to institutions in England
  • Welsh Ministers in relation to institutions in Wales
  • Scottish Ministers in relation to institutions in Scotland
  • The Department for Culture, Art and Leisure in relation to institutions in Northern Ireland

When deciding whether to approve a museum or gallery the authority must take account of the institution's procedures for establishing the provenance and ownership of objects and compliance with guidance on procedures published by the Secretary of State.

In the panel on the right are links to the websites of museums and galleries with forthcoming public exhibitions which include objects lent from abroad.