Legal basis

Heritage Act

The Heritage Act includes European legislation and the 2009 and 2007 Implementation Acts of the 1970 and 1954 UNESCO Conventions are included; meaning that there are no substantive changes in the Heritage Act to the Implementation Acts of the Directive and the 1970 and 1954 UNESCO Conventions. 

European legislation

The European Union (EU) has developed several regulations for the protection of  protect European cultural heritage..

Council Regulation (EC) No 116/2009 of 18 December 2008 on the export of cultural goods provides rules for the export of 15 categories of cultural goods, depending on their age and financial value. It ensures that uniform controls are carried out on these exports at the external borders of the EU.

Furthermore, on 15 May 2014  Directive 2014/60/EU on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State was adopted and the new provisions shall apply from 19 December 2015. The Directive foresees in a return procedure and cooperation between the authorities in the EU member states. Directive 2014/60/EU is a revision of Council Directive 93/7/EEC. The most important revisions are in the field of the definition of cultural heritage, the extension of the time-limit for initiating return proceedings and the proof of a possessor of a cultural object that he exercised due care and attention when acquiring the object for the purpose of obtaining a compensation when the return is ordered. 

In the event of doubt as to whether an object’s origin is lawful please contact the Cultural Heritage Inspectorate, as they are the competent authority in the Netherlands in this field. 

The English translation of the Wet van 4 juni 2015.