Guide to Exporting Cultural Property from Canada

April 2019

Disclaimer: The Guide to Exporting Cultural Property from Canada is intended to provide guidance on our current practice and interpretation of the relevant legislation. However, in the event of any inconsistency between this Guide and the applicable legislation, the legislation must be followed.

This publication is available on the Movable Cultural Property website.

Également disponible en français.

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2017

Catalogue No. CH41-42E-PDF

ISSN 2560-7898

Table of contents

List of acronyms and abbreviations

Act
Cultural Property Export and Import Act
ATSSC
Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada
CBSA
Canada Border Services Agency
CITES
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Control List
Canadian Cultural Property Export Control List
Review Board
Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board
OS
Outstanding Significance
NI
National Importance

Introduction

As outlined in the Cultural Property Export and Import Act (Act), a cultural property export permit is required to export certain cultural or heritage objects from Canada.

Cultural Property Export and Import Act

The Act encourages and ensures the preservation in Canada of significant examples of our artistic, historic and scientific heritage. The Act contains provisions to control the export and import of cultural objects in accordance with the 1970 UNESCO Convention to prevent illicit traffic in these objects. These provisions include permits to export certain cultural or heritage objects, as well as fines and penalties for not complying with the law.

The Act also contains tax incentives to encourage Canadians to donate or sell significant objects to organizations designated by the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Designated organizations have demonstrated the capacity to preserve cultural property over the long term and to exhibit or otherwise make cultural objects available to the public.

The Act is administered by the Department of Canadian Heritage, and the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board (Review Board) which is supported by the Secretariat to the Review Board, Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada (ATSSC). In addition, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has a specific responsibility to issue export permits and the authority to enforce the Act.

What is cultural property

Any cultural or heritage object, regardless of its place of origin, which may be important from an archaeological, historical, artistic or scientific perspective is considered "cultural property." Cultural property includes works of art, military medals, ethnographic objects, scientific objects, antique automobiles or aircraft, as well as natural history objects such as fossils, minerals and gemstones.

What cultural property requires an export permit

The Canadian Cultural Property Export Control List (Control List) describes the types of cultural property that require an export permit. The Control List is divided into eight types or groups of objects:

Group I
Objects recovered from the soil or waters of Canada (fossils, minerals and archaeological objects)
Group II
Objects of ethnographic material culture
Group III
Military objects
Group IV
Objects of applied and decorative art
Group V
Objects of fine art
Group VI
Scientific or technological objects
Group VII
Textual records, graphic records and sound recordings
Group VIII
Musical instruments

Cultural property requires an export permit if it is:

  • More than 50 years old;
  • Made by a person who is no longer living (where applicable); and,
  • Meets the criteria, including age or a minimum dollar value, as set out in the Control List.

For example:

  • Archaeological material (Group I) is subject to export control after being buried, concealed or abandoned for 75 years or more regardless of its monetary value.
  • A painting or sculpture (Group V) made outside Canada is subject to export control only if the work is more than 50 years old, the artist is deceased, and the work has a fair market value in Canada of more than $30,000 CAD.
  • Machines, such as aircraft or automobiles (Group VI), are not subject to export control if they are being exported for a manufacturing, industrial or commercial purpose.
  • Works of art made by living artists, and all cultural property that is less than 50 years old do not require cultural property export permits.

Anyone wishing to export cultural property from Canada should first determine whether the property is subject to export control by consulting the Control List. Appendix 2 contains additional notes on interpreting the Control List.

Object included in the Control List: A permit is required to export it from Canada regardless of the reason for export.

Object not included in the Control List: No cultural property export permit is required.

Applicants are also required to comply with other federal, provincial or territorial laws that may apply to cultural property and should ensure any necessary permits or permissions have been obtained prior to exporting the object. Examples of additional permits and permissions include:

  • CITES permits for heritage objects made of elephant ivory or other endangered species;
  • Disposition certificates for ammonite fossils removed from provincial lands in Alberta or federal authorizations issued by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada for ammonite fossil and ammolite gemstone removed from reserve lands;
  • Other provincial or territorial requirements, especially those pertaining to archaeological objects or fossil specimens.

Who can apply

Any person, business or organization that wishes to export controlled cultural property must obtain an export permit. Applications must be made by a resident of Canada. A "resident of Canada" means a person who ordinarily resides in Canada, or a business that has its head office in Canada, or maintains one or more business offices in Canada.

An applicant may apply for an export permit on behalf of the owner of an object. The owner does not have to be a resident of Canada.

Once issued, export permits are not transferable to another individual or business.

What kinds of export permits are available

There are three types of export permits available:

One Open General Permit has also been issued by the Minister of Canadian Heritage. This Open General Permit allows Canadians to temporarily export vintage vehicles (automobiles) and musical instruments for personal use without the need to apply for an export permit. No forms are required for objects exported under the Open General Permit.

Temporary export permits

Temporary permits may be used when exporting controlled cultural property for a period of less than five years. Temporary permits are issued for the following reasons:

  • research
  • processing
  • exhibition
  • restoration
  • conservation
  • repair
  • appraisal
  • authentication
  • loan
  • personal effects

Application forms

Application forms for temporary export are available online or contact the Department of Canadian Heritage. Completed application forms may be submitted by mail, courier or in person to one of 16 CBSA Permit Offices across Canada.

Service standards

Temporary permits are issued automatically by the CBSA, without any significant delay. CBSA will normally issue a temporary permit within two business days. Please consult the CBSA website for additional information about their service standards.

Exporting property under a temporary permit

Once issued, Part II of the application becomes the permit. The permit is valid for 90 days from the date of issue. If unused within this 90-day period, the permit will expire. Please refer to How to amend or change a permit for information on reinstating an expired permit.

When exporting cultural property under a temporary permit, the permit-holder must give the permit to the CBSA officer at the port of exit prior to its export. If exporting by mail the permit must be given to Canada Post at the time of mailing. The permit will then be sent to the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Notice of return

Exporters are required to contact Canadian Heritage when objects exported under a temporary permit are returned to Canada. The Notice of Return is available in the Guide and Application Form section of the Department of Canadian Heritage website. This notice must be provided within 15 days following the day the object is returned to Canada. Exporters must submit:

  • the Notice of Return, and
  • documentary evidence of object's return (e.g., a customs waybill).

If the Notice of Return is lost or misplaced, an e-mail or letter signed by the permit holder, which includes the exporter's name, address and telephone number, and the reference number of the export permit issued for the object, is acceptable in its place.

General permits

A general permit may be issued to any resident of Canada who regularly exports cultural property that falls under the Control List. General permits may be granted to organizations whose core business is unduly inconvenienced by the necessity of applying for individual permits or to organizations which have a large volume of cultural property exports.

A general permit will be issued when it can be demonstrated that the property to be exported would routinely be approved for export. Routinely approved permits include temporary permits, permits for objects that have been in Canada less than 35 years or permits for objects returned after loan to a Canadian institution or public authority. Cultural property that must be reviewed by an Expert Examiner under the permanent export permit process would not normally be considered eligible for a general permit.

Application forms

The application form for a general permit is available by contacting the Department of Canadian Heritage. Once complete, the application may be e-mailed or mailed to Canadian Heritage.

Service standards

Receipt of a general permit application will be acknowledged within 15 calendar days.

Written notification of the decision will be made within 18 weeks from the date a complete application is received. Processing of the application will not begin until the application is complete.

Assessment criteria

Canadian Heritage will review the application based on the following assessment criteria:

  • the type of controlled cultural property to be exported
  • the reason for the export
  • the volume of cultural property (number of objects) exported under an export permit by the applicant during the six-month period preceding the date of the application
  • the inconvenience, if any, to obtain individual export permits for the objects exported
  • the distance between the applicant's place of business and the nearest CBSA Permit office
  • the applicant's business specialization and number of employees, and
  • consultation, where applicable, with provincial or territorial authorities.

What happens when a permit is issued

Once issued by the Minister, the general permit is in effect for a period of up to five years. General permit-holders should reapply for a new general permit prior to its expiry date.

Exporting cultural property with a general permit

When exporting cultural property under a general permit, a completed Cultural Property Export Permit Declaration must be given to the CBSA officer at the port of exit prior to export. Please note that the Cultural Property Export Permit Declaration must be presented in addition to any other documentation required by CBSA.

If exporting by mail, the Cultural Property Export Permit Declaration must be given to Canada Post at the time of mailing.

Reporting requirements

Exporters are required to provide a list of controlled cultural property exported under the general permit to Canadian Heritage on a regular basis as specified on the general permit.

Permanent export permits

A permanent export permit is required to export cultural property from Canada on a permanent basis (or for a period of more than five years), regardless of the reason for the export.

Application forms

Application forms for permanent export are available online or contact the Department of Canadian Heritage. Completed application forms may be submitted by mail, courier or in person to one of 16 CBSA Permit Offices across Canada.

Service standards

These permits are issued by the CBSA. For a permit that can be issued automatically the normal service standard is two business days. Permanent export permits reviewed by an expert examiner will require more time before an applicant will be informed of a decision. The service standard for these permits is two to four weeks. Please consult the CBSA website for additional information about their service standards.

Permits issued automatically

In certain cases, permanent export permits are issued automatically by the CBSA. A permanent export permit will be granted automatically, without any significant delay, when the property:

  • is not included in the Control List, or
  • is being returned to a non-resident after it has been loaned to an institution or public authority in Canada, or
  • has been imported into Canada within the past 35 years. Documentary evidence or a signed declaration by the applicant is required to support the application to export the property under the 35-year rule.

Permit applications reviewed by an expert examiner

All other applications for permanent export are forwarded by the CBSA to an expert examiner. Expert examiners are organizations designated by the Minister of Canadian Heritage to review export permit applications. These organizations include museums, art galleries, libraries, archives and university departments that have expertise in the cultural property that is the subject of the permit application.

Expert examiners must determine whether the property listed on the export permit application is of "outstanding significance and national importance" to Canada (Appendix 3). Expert examiners may take approximately 10 business days to review a permit application.

In certain cases, expert examiners may request further information about the object through the CBSA. Expert examiners may also request that the applicant submit the property for examination.

If the expert examiner determines that the property is not of outstanding significance and national importance, they will advise the CBSA officer to issue the permit. CBSA will then issue the permit with minimal delay.

If the expert examiner determines that the property is of outstanding significance and national importance, they will provide written reasons and advise the CBSA permit officer to refuse the application (What happens when an application is refused).

Exporting cultural property with a permit

Once issued, Part II of the application becomes the permit. The permit is valid for 90 days from the day of issue. If unused within this 90-day period, the permit lapses and must be reinstated before it can be used (How to amend or change a permit).

The permit-holder must give the permit to the CBSA officer at the port of exit prior to exporting the property from Canada, or if exporting by mail, to Canada Post at the time of mailing. The permit will then be sent to the Department of Canadian Heritage.

What happens when a permit application is refused

When an application for a permanent export permit is refused, the CBSA officer will record the date of refusal and the deadline for requesting a review on the application form and send a Notice of Refusal to the applicant.

In cases where some of the objects on an application are allowed, the applicant may complete a new application for the allowed objects and a permit will be issued by the CBSA with minimal delay. The original application with the objects not recommended for export will remain refused.

When notified of a refused permit application the applicant may choose to:

  • keep the cultural property in Canada
  • donate or sell the property to another individual, business, museum, art gallery, library or archive in Canada
  • make a request to the Review Board to review the refusal.

If the applicant does not request a review by the Review Board, no permanent export permit shall be issued for the object, even if there has been a change in ownership, for a period of two years from the date when the Notice of Refusal was sent. After two years, a new application for an export permit may be submitted.

How to request a review of a refused permit application

When a Notice of Refusal is sent to the applicant, the applicant may make a request in writing to the Review Board for a review of the application for an export permit. The request for review must be made within 30 days after the date on which the Notice of Refusal was sent.

For more information about how to request a review of a refused export permit, or for other questions about the Review Board's mandate and procedures in the context of the export review process, please contact the Secretariat to Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.

Notification of delay period

The Department of Canadian Heritage will notify senior officials in designated Canadian institutions and public authorities via e-mail when the Review Board sets an export delay period for objects that have been refused a permit. The notice includes a description of the object and its value as it appears on the permit application. Canadian Heritage will provide the applicant’s contact information to an institution or public authority only if it expresses an interest in negotiating the purchase of an object identified on the notice. Negotiations are a private matter between the applicant and the institution, although the institution may apply for a Movable Cultural Property Grant to assist with the purchase.

Expiry of delay period

If by the end of the delay period the applicant does not receive an offer to purchase, the applicant may request, in writing to the Secretariat to the Review Board, ATSSC, that the Review Board direct CBSA to issue the permit.

Applicants may request the issuance of a permit at any time after the delay period expires.

Permits issued at the direction of the Review Board

Before requesting issuance of the permit, the applicant should verify that the information on the application is still accurate. Minor changes, including altering the name of the shipper or consignee, should be requested before the permit is issued. These requests should be directed to the CBSA permit office which processed the application. No amendments can be made once the permit is issued.

Once issued, the permit is valid for 90 days, and the object must be exported before the permit expires. Permits issued at the direction of the Review Board that have expired cannot be reinstated.

If the permit expires before the object is exported, a new permit application is required and the export process will begin again.

What is a fair cash offer

The purchase price for an object that is the subject of a delay period is negotiated between the applicant and an institution or public authority in Canada. However, if an offer to purchase an object is made and that offer is refused, the institution/public authority or the applicant may, pursuant to Section 30 of the Act, request to the Review Board to determine the amount of a fair cash offer to purchase.

For more information about how to request a fair cash offer, or for other questions about the Review Board’s mandate and procedures in the context of the export review process, please contact the Secretariat to Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.

How to amend or change a permit

The Minister of Canadian Heritage may amend, reinstate, suspend or cancel any export permit, except permits that are issued at the direction of the Review Board.

To request a permit amendment or reinstatement, contact Canadian Heritage. The request must include the change required, the reasons for the change, as well as a scanned copy of Part II of the permit if submitted by e-mail.

Canadian Heritage will amend a permit within five business days.

Failure to obtain a permit when it is required

The Act specifies offences and establishes penalties for improperly exporting cultural property from Canada. Under the Act, it is an offence to:

  • export or attempt to export any object included in the Control List without a cultural property export permit;
  • transfer a cultural property export permit to another person not authorized to use it;
  • willfully provide false or misleading information or knowingly make misrepresentations:
    • in the application for an export permit
    • to procure the issuance of a permit under the Act or
    • in connection with the use of a permit, or the disposition of any object to which the permit relates

If convicted of one of these offences by a court of law, an exporter may be fined and/or face imprisonment.

Lost or destroyed permits

If an export permit is lost or destroyed, a replacement copy may be obtained by contacting Canadian Heritage. The permit holder must provide a statutory declaration stating the permit has been lost or destroyed and explaining the circumstances under which the loss or destruction occurred. In the case of a lost permit, the permit holder must promise that, if the original permit is found, it will be returned to Canadian Heritage.

Contact us

Department of Canadian Heritage

25 Eddy (25-9-P)

Gatineau, Quebec

K1A 0M5

Phone: (819) 997-7761

Toll Free:1-866-811-0055

Fax: (819) 997-7757

Email: pch.bcm-mcp.pch@canada.ca

Web: Movable cultural property

Appendix 1: how to complete an application for temporary or permanent export

The same form is used for both temporary and permanent export permits. Applicants must complete and submit both Part I and Part II of the form and include all required attachments.

Part I, section A, general information

Field(s) Subject Instructions

2-9

Applicant

Provide the name, address, city, province or territory, postal code, telephone number and email address of the applicant (the person, business or organization applying for the permit). The applicant must be a resident of Canada.

10-15

Owner

If other than the applicant, provide the name, address, telephone number and e-mail address of the owner of the property.

16-21

Shipper

Provide the name, address, telephone number and email address of the shipper or consignor who will export the property from Canada. The shipper will present the export permit at the point of exit from Canada.

22-27

Consignee

Provide the name, address, telephone number and email address of the person/organization who will receive the property.

Attach documentary evidence, such as an invoice, loan agreement, customs waybill, showing the proposed destination.

Part I, section B, export information

Field(s) Subject Instructions

28

Date of Export

Indicate the intended date of export of the object.

29

Reason for temporary export

Temporary Export Information

Complete Fields 29 and 30 only when exporting an object(s) for less than five years.

Check the appropriate box to identify the reason for the temporary export.

30

Intended date of return to Canada

Enter the intended date when the cultural property will return to Canada.  The approximate date of return must be less than five (5) years from the date the permit is issued.

31

Reason for permanent export

Permanent Export Information

Complete Fields 31 to 43 (as applicable) only when exporting an object(s) for more than five years.

Check the appropriate box to identify the reason for the permanent export. If the export is the result of a firm sale or offer, attach documentary evidence, such as an invoice, as proof. If the object is exported for another reason, explain the reason for the permanent export.

32-35

Return after loan to an institution

If the property is being permanently exported after a temporary loan to an institution or public authority in Canada identify the name, address and telephone number of that institution.

36

35-year rule

Was the object described in the application imported into Canada within 35 years preceding the date of the application? If yes, attach documentary evidence as proof, or a signed declaration to that effect.

37

Manuscripts and archival records

Check yes only if the object is an original archival record that meets the criteria set out in s.15 of the Cultural Property Export Regulations.

38-39

Prior Application Refused

Has a prior application for an export permit been refused for an object described in the application? If yes, identify the previous permit application number.

40-43

Prior permit issued

Was the object previously exported from Canada under a cultural property export permit? If yes, indicate the type of permit (temporary, permanent or general), the permit number and the date of issue.

44

Delivery Information

Indicate how the permit should be delivered: hold for pick-up, send by regular mail, or send by courier. If courier service is selected, the applicant must complete Fields 45 and 46.

45-46

Courier Information

(Optional)

If the applicant wants to have their issued permit returned by courier at the applicant's expense, provide the name of the courier company and the account number.

Part I, section D, declaration

Field(s) Subject Instructions

47-48

Signature

The Applicant identified in Section A must sign and date the declaration.

Part II, section A, general information

Field(s) Subject Instructions

2-9

Applicant

Provide the same name, address, telephone number of the applicant provided in PART I of the application.

10-15

Shipper

Provide the same name, address, telephone number of the shipper or consignor who will export the property from Canada, if other than the Applicant.

16,17

Destination City and Country

Identify the destination city and the name of the country where the cultural property is being sent/exported to.

18-23

Consignee

Provide the same name, address, telephone number of the person/organization who will receive the property as indicated in PART I of the application.

Part II, section B, identification of object or collection

Field(s) Subject Instructions

24

Control List Reference

Indicate the Control List Reference for the object/collection to be exported. For example:

  • invertebrate fossils: Group I 3(d)
  • military medals: Group III 2(a)
  • a painting by a Canadian artist: Group V 2(b)
  • a collection of non-Canadian books: Group VII 9(b)
 

Quantity

Indicate the quantity of objects being described. For example 1 painting or 15 ammonite fossils, or 6 meteorite fragments.

 

Description

Describe each object being exported. The following basic information should normally be included for objects made by a person or people:

  • Name of manufacturer or artist
  • Country and place of origin
  • Date of manufacture
  • Material or medium
  • Dimensions
  • Brief physical description
  • Whether signed, inscribed or dated
  • Provenance (history)
  • Listing in descriptive catalogue or other reference

Include additional details, such as geographical coordinates for archaeological material or calibre for military ordnance as applicable.

A full scientific description should be included for paleontological or mineralogical objects

 

Total Value

Indicate the value for each object in Canadian dollars. The dollar value should be the fair market value when known.

 

Type of Value

Indicate the source of the value. Is the value a pre-auction estimate, an insurance value, a sale price, or other specified value?

   

To add another object to the application form click the Add an Object or Collection button. A new row will appear up to a maximum of 20 rows. For additional objects applicants must attach a separate sheet to the application form and provide the Control List reference, quantity, description, total value and type of value for each object/collection added.

What to include with the application

Documentary evidence

Documentary evidence of the proposed final destination of the cultural property must be attached to all applications. This documentary evidence may include an invoice, loan agreement, will, customs waybill, etc.

If the export is the result of a sale or offer, attach documentary evidence, such as an invoice, to the application.

When exporting objects that have been in Canada for less than 35 years the applicant must include either:

  • documentary evidence such as an invoice or customs document that demonstrates that the object was imported into Canada less than 35 years ago, or
  • a declaration signed by the applicant attesting that the object was imported into Canada less than 35 year ago. The declaration must identify the object or objects to be exported, and when possible, the year of import and the name of the importer.

Example of a 35-year declaration: I declare that the painting Untitled by Anonymous was imported into Canada less than 35 years ago. This work was imported to Canada in 1995 by my father, Mr. J. Smith.

Photographs

In most cases, applicants are required to include photographs of the objects with their application for an export permit. The photographs should be of sufficient size and quality to ensure the proper identification of the objects. Where numerous multiple objects, such as minerals or gemstones, are proposed for export, several objects may be photographed together, as long as each object can be identified.

Photographs are NOT required with an application when the cultural property in question:

  • consists of mineral or fossil specimens in bulkFootnote 1
  • was imported into Canada on a temporary basis as a loan to an institution or public authority in Canada by a non-resident (at the time of the loan) of Canada;
  • is being exported on a temporary basis by an institution or public authority
  • was imported into Canada under a "temporary admission form E29B" or a carnet;
  • was imported into Canada on a temporary basis (other than for resale) and a copy of the relevant export permit, and a certified translation, is included with the permit application.

Archival documents

When exporting archival documents, photocopies of the documents may be attached to the application instead of photographs. Where the archival documents consist of more than 12 pages, include photocopies of no more than 12 pages that are representative of the whole.

Appendix 2: tips for interpreting the Control List

The Control List describes the range of cultural property that requires an export permit. It sometimes requires interpretation to determine if or where a specific object fits into the List.

Exporters who have questions about the Control List should always contact the Department of Canadian Heritage for clarification. However, the following notes may assist exporters in understanding the Control List and to determine where their property fits on the List.

General notes

  • Objects must be more than fifty years old and, where made by a natural person, that person must no longer be living in order to be included in the Control List. Naturally occurring objects and industrially manufactured objects are also included on the Control List.
  • When a collection of objects is exported, and only part of the collection is controlled under the List, export permits are required only for those controlled items in the collection.
  • A pair or a set of objects created as a pair or set or presented for export as a pair or set (e.g. tea sets, a set of jewelry, etc.) will be considered "an object" for the purposes of the Control List.
  • Certain objects can fall under more than one group in the Control List, and advice as to where they should fit is given below for such cases.

Group I: Objects recovered from the soil or waters of Canada

  • Mineral and palaeontological specimens that were not recovered from the soil or waters of Canada do not require export permits to leave Canada.
  • Mineral and palaeontological specimens in "bulk" from a single outcrop, quarry or locality are controlled to prevent the loss from Canada of an entire unique significant occurrence of either material.
  • Unset gemstones that are facetted and polished by a person or persons are controlled under Group I (Mineralogy). Once set, they are considered jewellery and may be controlled under Group IV - Objects of Applied and Decorative Art.
  • Carvings or sculptures made from minerals are excluded from the definition of "mineral," and are not controlled under Group I. They may however be controlled either under Group IV (Objects of Applied and Decorative Art) or under Group V (Objects of Fine Art).
  • Objects that might otherwise come under another group of the Control List are controlled in Group I, if recovered from the soil or waters of Canada more than 75 years after concealment, burial or abandonment. This includes objects associated with Aboriginal peoples of Canada, and military objects recovered from the soils or waters of Canada.
  • Material that originated from an archaeological context in a territory outside that which is now Canada may, in some cases, be controlled under other Control List groups.

Group II: objects of ethnographic material culture

  • Military objects made, reworked or adapted for use by Aboriginal peoples are controlled under Group II, unless they were recovered from the soil or waters of Canada, in which case they are controlled under Group I.
  • Military objects that were used by Aboriginal peoples but not made, reworked or adapted for use by them are controlled under Group III, unless they were recovered from the soil or waters of Canada, in which case they are controlled under Group I.
  • Objects of applied and decorative art and objects of fine art, made by Aboriginal peoples are controlled under Group IV and Group V.
  • Scientific or technological objects made, reworked, adapted for use, or used by Aboriginal peoples are controlled under Group VI.
  • Textual records, graphic records and sound recordings associated with Aboriginal peoples are controlled under Group VII.
  • Musical instruments made or used by Aboriginal peoples are controlled under Group II.

Group III: military objects

  • Military objects recovered from the soil or waters of Canada more than 75 years after concealment, burial or abandonment are considered archaeological and are controlled under Group I.
  • Military objects made, reworked or adapted for use by Aboriginal peoples are controlled under Group II unless they were recovered from the soil or waters of Canada - in such cases they are controlled under Group I.
  • Military objects that were used by Aboriginal peoples but not made, reworked or adapted for use by them are controlled under Group III unless they were recovered from the soil or waters of Canada - in such cases they are controlled under Group I.
  • Works of art related to military history that are sculpted are controlled under either Group IV or Group V. Drawings, prints and paintings that relate to military history are controlled under Group V.
  • Textual records, graphic records and sound recordings that relate to an aspect of military history are controlled under Group VII.
  • Musical instruments that were used in a military context are controlled under Group III.
  • Medals, aside from military medals, awarded to a person who ordinarily resided in the territory that is now Canada, may be controlled under Group IV.

Group IV: objects of applied and decorative art

  • With the exception of certain carved or sculpted works, objects that are described in Group IV of the List are controlled under Group III if they are associated with military history. Examples of this include flags and other textiles such as uniforms.
  • Export permits are not required for coins made in or outside Canada, unless they are Canadian pattern coins made outside Canada or trial strikes of Canadian coins made outside Canada.

Group V: objects of fine art

  • Artists' sketch books are controlled under Group VII.
  • All photographic positives and negatives, whether considered fine art or archival in nature, are controlled under Group VII.

Group VI: scientific or technological objects

  • Machines made outside the territory that is now Canada will only require a permit if they relate to the development of technology, either in Canada or in general. Prototypes and machines that incorporate any special innovations or adaptations, as well as machines specially modified for use in Canada or industry firsts are considered to relate to the development of technology.
  • Textual records, graphic records and sound recordings related to the history of science and technology are controlled under Group VII.
  • Vehicles controlled under Group VI that are exported on a temporary basis for personal use are subject to an Open General Permit, and, therefore, applications for temporary export permits are not required.

Group VII: textual records, graphic records and sound recordings

  • A newspaper is considered a manuscript, record or document described in Group VII 2(1)(a).

Group VIII: musical instruments

  • Musical instruments controlled under Group VIII that are exported on a temporary basis for personal use are subject to an Open General Permit, and, therefore, applications for temporary export permits are not required.

Appendix 3: framework for outstanding significance (OS) and national importance (NI)

Under Section 11(1) of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act (Act), if cultural property is to be refused an export permit, it must be both

  1. of outstanding significance by reason of its close association with Canadian history or national life, its aesthetic qualities, or its value in the study of the arts or sciences, and
  2. of such a degree of national importance that its loss to Canada would significantly diminish the national heritage.

Note: National importance includes local, regional, and community importance. For the purposes of the Act, national heritage includes cultural property that originated in Canada, or the territory now known as Canada, as well as significant examples of international cultural property that reflects Canada's cultural diversity or that enrich Canadians' understanding of different cultures, civilizations, time periods, and their own place in history and the world.

The OS/NI framework

Under the OS/NI framework, outstanding significance is a question of nature or kind (i.e., what?) whereas national importance is a matter of degree (i.e., how much, to what extent?)

When addressing outstanding significance, consider questions such as the following:

  • What kind of association does the property have with Canadian history or national life?
  • What is the nature of the property's aesthetic qualities?
  • What is the nature of the property's value in the study of the arts or sciences?

In other words, what makes the cultural property of outstanding significance?

When addressing national importance consider questions such as the following:

  • How notable is the property's association with Canadian history or national life?
  • How singular or striking are the property's aesthetic qualities?
  • How great is the property's value in the study of the arts or sciences?

In other words, if the cultural property were lost to Canada, how significantly would the national heritage be diminished?

Indicators of outstanding significance

Note:

Participants in a review hearing should consider whether the object meets one or more of the five OS criteria. The following indicators are prompts for thinking about the property's outstanding significance. They are not meant to be exhaustive or used as a checklist.

Close association with Canadian history
  • Is the property closely associated with an important historical
    • person or group?
    • place or event?
    • Canadian discovery or innovation?
    • theme, trend, process, pattern of life, or aspect of Canadian history?
  • Is the property closely associated with the development of Canada or a part of Canada?
Close association with national life
  • Is the property closely associated with
    • a cultural tradition or way of life in Canada?
    • customs, beliefs, ideas, or values that are meaningful to a group or community in Canada?
    • a major change in society or a transformation of a way of life?
  • Does the property occupy a distinct place in the national consciousness?
Aesthetic qualities
  • Is the property uniquely expressive or provocative?
  • Is the property original or innovative in its conception, style, design, composition, or execution?
  • Does the property embody or reflect great technical accomplishment or craftsmanship?
  • Does the property have symbolic dimension? What qualities make the property exceptional?
Value in the study of the arts
  • Does the property contribute to an understanding of
    • the arts (art, art history, design, literature, music, theatre, etc.)?
    • a style, genre, school, period, movement, or design?
  • Is the property a particularly representative or revealing example of a creator's style, genre, or oeuvre?
  • Is the property of interest to the artistic community?
  • Does the property have research value?
Value in the study of the sciences
  • Is the property associated with a scientific discovery or breakthrough?
  • Does the property contribute to an understanding of natural history, technology, or the sciences?
  • Does the property contribute to an understanding of the history of science or technology?
  • Is the property of interest to the scientific community?
  • Does the property have research value?

Factors supporting national importance

Note:

Participants in a review hearing should consider whether any of the following factors contribute or enhance the object's national importance such that its loss to Canada would significantly diminish the national heritage. The following factors are neither exhaustive or a checklist but rather a point of departure to prompt further reflection.

Provenance
  • Is the property's creator, user, owner, or place of origin notable?
  • Is the chain of ownership complete and unambiguous?
Impact of creator
  • Is the creator well known or recognized in Canada or internationally?
  • Is the creator highly influential?
  • Does the creator have a major public presence (e.g., exhibitions, publications, etc.)?
Origin
  • Is the property associated with or discovered at an important location?
  • What makes the property important to Canada and Canadians?
Authenticity
  • Is the property's authenticity credible and verifiable?
  • Is the property a known or particularly important copy, fake, or forgery?
Condition
  • Is the property in good or excellent condition?
  • Is the property in its original, unrestored condition?
  • Has the property been restored to its original condition?
  • Has the property been repaired, conserved, or compromised?
Completeness
  • Is the property intact, complete, or comprehensive?
  • Is the property a draft, a prototype, or a finished work?
  • Is the property characterized by exceptional unity or integrity of parts?
Rarity or uniqueness
  • Is the property rare, unique, endangered, or extinct?
  • Is the property an unusual example of its class or type?
  • Is the property a duplicate of an item already held by the organization or elsewhere in Canada?
Representativeness
  • Is the property a good or outstanding example of its class, type, genre, or style?
Documentary or research value
  • Is the property of high real or potential interest to scholars?
  • Does the property hold the potential for new scholarship in a field of study?
  • Does the property have the potential to make a significant and lasting contribution to a field of study?
  • Does the property have significant educational value?
Contextual associations
  • Does the property have a notable present or historical value to a community or group in Canada?
  • Does the property have an important relationship to other objects in Canada?
  • Does the property illuminate an aspect or dimension of its physical or historical context?
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: