HL Deb 08 November 1999 vol 606 c128WA
Lord Freyberg

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Works of Art Export Reviewing Committee is under any obligation when important works of art come before it for temporary export to ascertain whether they are for genuine exhibition purposes or are being offered for sale; and whether such knowledge would affect its decision to grant temporary export licences. [HL4463]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

A licence application for temporary export would not normally be referred to the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art unless an object was considered by expert advisers to be of potential national importance and possibly too fragile to travel. A recommendation made to Ministers by the committee to defer a decision on the granting of an export licence application, whether temporary or permanent, would be based solely on whether the object concerned was judged to have met one or more of the Waverley criteria.

Each case is considered on its merits, and in relation to applications received to date, temporary licences have been granted to applicants who have expressed a desire to exhibit items with a view to later sale. Such licences have been granted because the temporary nature of the licence ensures that the object will return to the UK. There are provisions that any person who has exported goods from the UK under the authority of a licence and who fails to comply with any condition attaching to that licence is guilty of an offence and, if found guilty, would be liable for a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.