The Model Export Certificate for Cultural Objects was jointly prepared by the Secretariats of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO), cooperating to combat illicit trafficking in cultural property. It is specially adapted to the increasing phenomenon of cross border movements of the cultural objects.
Knowing that currently, in most countries, the same export form is used for “ordinary” objects (computers, clothes, etc.) as for cultural objects, this model fulfils requirements for identifying and tracing cultural objects, yet it is not overly burdensome for exporters and customs officials. UNESCO and the WCO recommend adopting the model, in its entirety or in part, as the national export certificate specifically for cultural objects.
Both the 1970 UNESCO and the 1995 UNIDROIT Conventions recommend the use of export certificates for cultural objects. The Model Export Certificate is to be used by customs officers and customs offices at the point of exit from a country and persons wishing to export cultural property. If it is extensively adopted worldwide and therefore operates as an international standard, it will benefit States and facilitate the work of police and customs officials.