Handbook on the Law of Cultural Heritage and International Trade

Handbook on the Law of Cultural Heritage and International Trade

Research Handbooks on Globalisation and the Law series

Edited by James A.R. Nafziger and Robert Kirkwood Paterson

This Handbook offers a collection of original writings by leading scholars and practitioners in the exciting, rapidly developing field of cultural heritage law. The detailed essays are the product of a multi-year project of the Committee on Cultural Heritage Law of the International Law Association.

Chapter 15: Poland

Andrzej Jakubowski and Olgierd Jakubowski

Subjects: law - academic, cultural heritage and art law, international economic law, trade law


Poland introduced the first export regulations in respect to cross-border circulation of cultural property as early as 1918, just before the end of WWI. Since then, the system of export controls has been amended several times. Currently, the export of such objects is regulated under the Act of 23 July 2003 on the Protection and Guardianship of Monuments (hereinafter: APGM). This provides for prohibition of a permanent export of certain categories of cultural property abroad as well as for the system of export certificates (permits). A separate legal regime applies to archives, under the Act of 14 July 1983 on the National Archival Resource and State Archives. Since 1946 Poland has been a member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In 1974, it ratified the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property signed in Paris, on 14 November 1970 (hereinafter: 1970 UNESCO Convention). Poland has also ratified the majority of other conventions concerning the protection of cultural heritage, adopted within this international organisation. On the regional level, Poland is a Member State of the Council of Europe (CoE) as of 26 November 1991, and it is a party to the vast majority of its international legal instruments on the protection of cultural heritage. Poland has been a contracting party of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) since 18 October 1967 and a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 1 July 1995.

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