Transport of Goods (Export)

When goods are exported outside the EU, it is necessary to take into account not only the customs duties but also taxes (the Import VAT – a parallel to VAT). In the case of Switzerland, for instance, you have to pay the customs duty along with the tax, which equals eight percent of the value of the imported item. In the case of artworks, it is possible to apply for tax exemption (for more information see the Swiss Customs Administration).

We recommend that you check whether other countries allow similar tax exemptions for the import of works of art.

EORI Registration:

A regulation of the European Commission effective as of 1 July 2009 laid down the duty for economic operators in the entire EU to be registered in the Economic Operators Registration and Identification System (EORI Register) in cases where the entity trades with third countries.

The EORI number, a personal number assigned by the customs administration, serves for identification in communication with customs authorities. The registration can be made at any customs office regardless of the place of business of the entrepreneur (either a legal person with its registered office in the Czech Republic or a sole trader having a registered office/place of residence in the Czech Republic).

Further information on the EORI registration, including forms, is available on the website of the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic.


A product designer with a trade licence (i.e. a sole trader) sells his products abroad, mainly to the USA and Switzerland, thanks to having won a prestigious international award. Although he sells a small number of units, he must have an EORI number for the sale in Switzerland, for instance. The designer in the above-mentioned example has used the services of a transport company that also arranges the customs services for a fee. The artist should provide the transport company with assistance in the preparation of an export invoice. He should provide it with the name of the goods, their amount, price and further details that may be requested by the company.

Exports of works of art and items of cultural value as part of important heritage of the Czech Republic / Protection of cultural heritage and restriction on its exports

Such exports are restricted in order for the country to have control over the movement of its cultural heritage. Although a particular work of art may be owned by a private owner, the Czech Republic is interested in its staying in its territory.

These issues are governed by a number of legal regulations (Act No. 71/1994 Sb., on the Sale and Export of Items of Cultural Value, and others). Again, we distinguish between temporary and permanent exports. In order to be able to export an item of cultural value from the Czech Republic, it is necessary to obtain a certificate from a cultural institution that issues such certificates, e.g. the National Gallery or the Museum of Decorative Arts (UPM). Detailed information on formalities as well as forms are available on the websites of National Gallery and UPM. In specific cases, a permit of the Ministry of Culture is required.

In such a case, it is irrelevant whether the exporting person is an entrepreneur or a private individual.


An American collector of art and antiques bought a collection of drawings made by a student of an arts and design school at the turn of the 19th century. Using the forms of the Museum of Decorative Arts (UPM), he applied for a permit of its export to the United States. He was granted the export permit under the condition that UPM will document the drawings, since they were a very valuable work of art showing the development of the art nouveau style.


A prominent Czech gallery owner was exporting a painting by Pablo Picasso to lend it for an exhibition in the USA. Since it was an important piece of cultural heritage and such export requires a permit from the Ministry of Culture, customs officers at Václav Havel Airport detained the painting. The respective law stipulates that an important piece of cultural heritage may be exhibited abroad (or be lent or transported abroad for another reason) only with the prior consent of the Ministry of Culture.