Cultural property


Basic information


Outline of the system

For the purposes of the international movement of cultural property, the National Registry of Cultural Property of the Republic of Cuba (RNBC) applies and administers a cultural property import control system. Under this system, importers may obtain a numbered document that constitutes an import certificate.


Product coverage

Licensing seeks to control cultural heritage with a view to its preservation, and to prevent the illegal trafficking of cultural property, in accordance with the legislation in force in Cuba and the international agreements to which the country is party. The following items are subject to import licensing:

- Documents and other property relating to history, including the history of science and technology, and to the life of the founders of nationality and independence, leaders and eminent figures, and events of national and international importance.
- Collections or objects of scientific interest.
- Products of archaeological excavations and archaeological discoveries.
- Elements of artistic or historical monuments or archaeological sites which have been dismembered.
- Property of artistic interest, such as original objects and works, and reproductions or copies of plastic and decorative art works and of works of applied art and popular art.
- Ethnological or folkloric objects and documents.
- Rare manuscripts and incunabula, books, documents and publications.
- Archives, including photographic, sound and cinematographic archives.
- Maps and other cartographical materials, original and printed scores, special editions and sound recordings.
- Items of numismatic, philatelic and vitolphilic interest, including revenue and similar stamps, single or in collections.
- Ethnographic objects and musical instruments.
- Any element or part of any urban historical centre, construction or site, whether or not declared a national or local monument.

Nature of licensing



If Automatic, administrative purpose



If Non-Automatic, description of the notified Non-Automatic Licensing regime


Products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports

There is no restriction as to the quantity or value of imports. Licensing seeks to ensure protection and control.


Questions for products under restriction as to the quantity or value of imports


The system applies to products originating from which country?

This procedure applies to cultural and/or heritage property from any country in the world


Expected duration of licensing procedure

Eligibility of applicants


Is there a system of registration of persons or firms permitted to engage in importation?

Applications are expressly made beforehand, and importers notify the Registry of the date so that the requested import can be verified and the corresponding certificate validated.


What persons or firms are eligible to apply for a licence?

Licences are assigned to any natural or legal person interested in importing, on a temporary or permanent basis, any of the cultural or heritage property referred to in the Law.


Is there a registration fee?


Is there a published list of authorized importers?

Contact point for information on eligibility



National Registry of Cultural Property





(+53) 7831 3362; 7833 9658




Contact officer

Submission of an application


Administrative body(ies) for submission of an application

Documentation requirements


What information is required in applications?

Applicants must provide the following information, in document form or by email:
- The particulars of the applicant.
- The technical data sheet for each of the items to be imported.
- Details of the type of regime under which importation is requested, i.e. permanent or temporary; in the case of the latter, an indication of the period of time during which importation will take place and the origin of the imported item.
- The nature of the import transaction, e.g. institutional, private, diplomatic.
- The purpose of importation.
- The particulars of the carrier, including their passport number.
- The country of origin and the authorization issued by that country where required.
- Mode of importation.
- Place, date and time of arrival.
- For unaccompanied freight imports, the date and time when the containers will be opened.


What documents is the importer required to supply with the application?

Window of submission of an application


How far in advance of importation must application for a licence be made?


Are there any limitations as to the period of the year during which application for licence can be made? If so, explain

There are no limitations.

Issuing the license


Can a licence be granted immediately on request?

No, as it is necessary to assess the product concerned.


Can licences be obtained within a shorter time-limit or for goods arriving at the port without a licence

Import licence applications are processed within 48 hours.


Which administrative body is responsible for approving application of licences?

Generally speaking, licence applications are considered by a technical administrative body.


Must the applications be passed on to other organs for visa, note or approval?

Generally speaking, licence applications are considered by a technical administrative body. For the importation of heritage property, property the composition of which includes any of the species protected under CITES, property of outstanding significance, or property of uncertain origin, the matter is put to the consideration of the CITES authority of the CITMA, the Chair of the National Cultural Heritage Council, and the relevant bodies of the Ministry of the Interior.


Are there any other conditions attached to the issue of a licence?

Not applicable.

Fees and other administrative charges


Is there any licensing fee or administrative charge?

The applicable administrative charge is in the process of being approved.


What is the amount of the fee or charge?

The applicable administrative charge is in the process of being approved.


Is there any deposit or advance payment required associated with the issue of licences?

Not applicable.


Amount or rate?


Is it refundable?


What is the period of retention?


What is the purpose of this requirement?

Refusal of an application


Under what circumstances may an application for a licence be refused other than failure to meet the ordinary criteria?

Not applicable.


Are the reasons for any refusal given to applicants?

Not applicable.


Have applicants a right of appeal in the event of refusal to issue a licence?

Not applicable.


If so, to what bodies and under what procedures?

Not applicable.



Are there any limitations as to the period of year during which importation may be made?

There are no limitations.


What documents are required upon actual importation?

Upon importation, the specialist from the National Cultural Property Registry must present the import licence that has been issued to customs and verify it.


Are there any other administrative procedures, apart from import licensing and similar administrative procedures, required prior to importation?

Not applicable.

Conditions of licensing


What is the period of validity of a licence? Can the validity be extended? How?

Import licences are valid for 60 days from the date of issue. The period of validity may be extended at the request of the applicant.


Is there any penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or a portion of a licence?

There is no penalty for the non-utilization of a licence or portion of a licence. The document issued is simply invalidated.


Are licences transferable between importers? If so, are any limitations or conditions attached to such transfer?

Licences are transferable between importers, provided that the change of carrier is requested beforehand; where property is detained pending compliance with import formalities, the carrier may endorse the document only once.

Foreign Exchange


Is foreign exchange automatically provided by the banking authorities for goods to be imported?

Not applicable.


Is a licence required as a condition to obtaining foreign exchange?

Not applicable.


Is foreign exchange always available to cover licences issued?

Not applicable.


What formalities must be fulfilled for obtaining the foreign exchange?

Not applicable.