Process and Purpose


The United States is one of over 115 states party to the 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property ("The Convention") (PDF). The Convention helps countries work together to prevent the theft of culturally significant archaeological and ethnological material.

The Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act ("The Act") (PDF), enables the Department of State to consider requests from any country party to the 1970 UNESCO Convention to impose import restrictions on cultural materials.


Foreign Government Requests

Learn how the Cultural Heritage Center handles foreign government requests to impose import restrictions on items.

Bilateral Agreements

Learn more about the agreements countries have signed with the U.S. to protect cultural artifacts.