Cultural Property Export and Import Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. C-51)

Act current to 2017-12-11 and last amended on 2014-11-01. Previous Versions

Foreign Cultural Property

Marginal note:Definitions
  •  (1) In this section,

    cultural property agreement

    accord

    cultural property agreement, in relation to a foreign State, means an agreement between Canada and the foreign State or an international agreement to which Canada and the foreign State are both parties, relating to the prevention of illicit international traffic in cultural property; (accord)

    foreign cultural property

    biens culturels étrangers

    foreign cultural property, in relation to a reciprocating State, means any object that is specifically designated by that State as being of importance for archaeology, prehistory, history, literature, art or science; (biens culturels étrangers)

    reciprocating State

    État contractant

    reciprocating State means a foreign State that is a party to a cultural property agreement. (État contractant)

  • Marginal note:Illegal imports

    (2) From and after the coming into force of a cultural property agreement in Canada and a reciprocating State, it is illegal to import into Canada any foreign cultural property that has been illegally exported from that reciprocating State.

  • Marginal note:Action for recovery of foreign cultural property

    (3) Where the government of a reciprocating State submits a request in writing to the Minister for the recovery and return of any foreign cultural property that has been imported into Canada illegally by virtue of subsection (2) and that is in Canada in the possession of or under the control of any person, institution or public authority, the Attorney General of Canada may institute an action in the Federal Court or in a superior court of a province for the recovery of the property by the reciprocating State.

  • Marginal note:Notice

    (4) Notice of the commencement of an action under this section shall be served by the Attorney General of Canada on such persons and given in such manner as is provided by the rules of the court in which the action is taken, or, where the rules do not so provide, served on such persons and given in such manner as is directed by a judge of the court.

  • Marginal note:Order for recovery of designated property

    (5) A court in which an action has been taken under this section on behalf of a reciprocating State may, after affording all persons that it considers to have an interest in the action a reasonable opportunity to be heard, make an order for the recovery of the property in respect of which the action has been taken or any other order sufficient to ensure the return of the property to the reciprocating State, where the court is satisfied that the property has been illegally imported into Canada by virtue of subsection (2) and that the amount fixed under subsection (6), if any, has been paid to or for the benefit of the person, institution or public authority referred to in that subsection.

  • Marginal note:Compensation

    (6) Where any person, institution or public authority establishes to the satisfaction of the court in which an action under this section is being considered that the person, institution or public authority

    • (a) is a bona fide purchaser for value of the property in respect of which the action has been taken and had no knowledge at the time the property was purchased by him or it that the property had been illegally exported from the reciprocating State on whose behalf the action has been taken, or

    • (b) has a valid title to the property in respect of which the action has been taken and had no knowledge at the time such title was acquired that the property had been illegally exported from the reciprocating State on whose behalf the action has been taken,

    the court may fix such amount to be paid as compensation by the reciprocating State to that person, institution or public authority as the court considers just in the circumstances.

  • Marginal note:Safe-keeping

    (7) The court may, at any time in the course of an action under this section, order that the property in respect of which the action has been taken be turned over to the Minister for safe-keeping and conservation pending final disposition of the action.

  • Marginal note:Permit to export

    (8) The Minister shall, on receipt of a copy of an order of a court made under subsection (5), issue a permit authorizing any person authorized by the reciprocating State on behalf of which the action was taken to export the property in respect of which the order was made to that State.

  • Marginal note:Limitations inapplicable

    (9) Section 39 of the Federal Courts Act does not apply in respect of any action taken under this section.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-51, s. 37;
  • 2002, c. 8, s. 182.

Designation of Cultural Property

Marginal note:Designation of cultural property

 For the purposes of article 1 of the Convention on the means of prohibiting and preventing the illicit import, export and transfer of ownership of cultural property, any object included in the Control List is hereby designated by Canada as being of importance for archaeology, prehistory, history, literature, art or science.

  • 1974-75-76, c. 50, s. 32.

Regulations

Marginal note:Regulations

 The Governor in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, may make regulations

  • (a) prescribing the information, documentation and undertakings to be furnished by applicants for permits and certificates under this Act, the procedures to be followed in applying for and in issuing those permits and certificates, the terms and conditions applicable to them and the duration of the permits;

  • (b) prescribing the circumstances in which information may be required from persons to whom permits have been issued under this Act and the type of information that may be so required;

  • (c) prescribing the purposes for which an object may be removed from Canada for a limited period of time for the purpose of paragraph 7(c) and the length of time for which it may be so removed; and

  • (d) prescribing classes of manuscripts, original documents, archives, photographic positives and negatives, films and sound recordings for the purpose of section 14.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-51, s. 39;
  • 1995, c. 5, s. 25;
  • 1998, c. 19, s. 261.

Offences and Punishment

Marginal note:Export or attempt to export

 No person shall export or attempt to export from Canada any object included in the Control List except under the authority of and in accordance with a permit issued under this Act.

  • 1974-75-76, c. 50, s. 34.
Marginal note:No transfer of permits

 No person who is authorized under a permit issued under this Act to export an object from Canada shall transfer the permit to or allow it to be used by a person who is not so authorized.

  • 1974-75-76, c. 50, s. 35.
Marginal note:False information

 No person shall wilfully furnish any false or misleading information or knowingly make any misrepresentation

  • (a) in an application for a permit under this Act;

  • (b) for the purpose of procuring the issue of a permit under this Act; or

  • (c) in connection with the use of a permit issued under this Act or the disposition of any object to which such permit relates.

  • 1974-75-76, c. 50, s. 36.
Marginal note:Import or attempt to import foreign cultural property

 No person shall import or attempt to import into Canada any property that it is illegal to import into Canada under subsection 37(2).

  • 1974-75-76, c. 50, s. 37.
Marginal note:Export or attempt to export
  •  (1) No person shall export or attempt to export from Canada any property in respect of which an action has been instituted under subsection 37(3) while the action is being considered.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) No person shall export or attempt to export from Canada any property in respect of which an order has been made under subsection 37(5) except under the authority of and in accordance with a permit issued by the Minister under subsection 37(8).

  • 1974-75-76, c. 50, s. 38.
Marginal note:Offences and punishment
  •  (1) Every person who contravenes any of the provisions of subsection 36.1(2) and sections 40 to 44 is guilty of an offence and liable

    • (a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months or to both; or

    • (b) on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to both.

  • Marginal note:Limitation period

    (2) A prosecution under paragraph (1)(a) may be instituted at any time within but not later than three years after the time when the subject-matter of the complaint arose.

  • R.S., 1985, c. C-51, s. 45;
  • 2005, c. 40, s. 5.
 
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