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The International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) is asking for a minimum value threshold for objects covered by the legislation.

Fabrizio Govi, vice president of the association, said: “Even though ILAB disagrees with the very principle of this regulation, it strongly supports value thresholds for printed books and manuscripts.”

He said the ideal threshold would be €150,000 but at the very least it should be €50,000. However, some amendments to the legislation include the step to remove value thresholds.

The law has been drawn up to stop illicit trafficking of cultural goods into the EU, which has been identified as a source of income for terrorists and organised crime groups. ILAB has also argued that the request to name a “source country” for any imported object should not apply to printed books and manuscripts.

“In many cases, it is very complicated or even impossible to establish a clear origin for many manuscripts, since they often bear no date or place and are not signed,” said Govi.

First proposed in July 2017, it is going through the committee stages in the European Parliament and could be implemented in 2019. A total of 381 amendments are being discussed. The British Art Market Federation (BAMF) has also been lobbying to argue for a number of changes to the proposed bill.