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This will mean that the UK could become a more attractive art market than EU member states.

CINOA, the international confederation of art and antique dealer associations representing 5000 dealers cross 30 associations, said that if the European Parliament votes through legislation based on the current import licensing proposals for cultural goods, it will place EU member states “at a distinct competitive disadvantage with regards to the UK”.

It said this will mean the UK will become an even more attractive place to do art market business with the rest of the world. The UK already accounts for around 60% of the entire European art market by value.

CINOA added that fairs such as TEFAF Maastricht and the Paris Biennale will be affected if the legislation goes through.

Laws on the import of cultural goods were proposed in July 2017 by the European Commission and are designed to stop imports to the EU of cultural goods illicitly exported from their country of origin.

However, the rules propose an increased administrative burden and a severe crackdown on imports of any cultural goods that are ‘more than 250 years old’ regardless of origin. Art, antiques and antiquarian book trade associations have lobbied MEPs to amend the proposals, which they believe are ‘unworkable and disproportionate’. The law is currently making its way through the parliamentary system.

The UK government’s guidance on exporting objects of cultural interest if there is no Brexit deal can be found here.