Importation of collectors’ pieces and works of art

You can import collectors’ pieces and works of art of an educational, scientific or cultural character free from payment of Value-Added Tax (VAT). There is no relief from Customs Duty on these goods.

The following rules apply to the collectors’ pieces and works of art:

  • They must be of an educational, scientific or cultural character.
  • They cannot be intended for sale.
  • They must be imported by museums, galleries or other institutions approved by Revenue for the duty-free admission of these goods.
  • The exemption is granted only on condition that the articles in question are imported free of charge or, if they are imported for payment, that they are not supplied by a taxable person.

How to apply for relief

You should apply to the Authorisations and Reliefs Unit describing the goods you wish to import. You should confirm that they are to be imported free of charge and are not for sale. If Revenue is satisfied that your application is in order, we will send you a letter of authorisation containing a unique reference number.

Procedure at importation

You should attach your authorisation letter to the outside of your parcel and mark it ‘customs documents’.

If you are importing your goods through the post, the declaration (CN 22 or CN23) on the parcel should state the following:

'Miscellaneous documents and articles: exemption from import charges claimed'.

If you are importing your goods other than by post, for example, by courier, an electronic declaration is required and the goods must be presented to Revenue.

Code C36 should be entered in box 37b in order to avail of the relief from VAT.

The unique number from your letter of authorisation should be entered in box 44/2.

Further information

If you need further information, contact Authorisations and Reliefs Unit.