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Export permit for Non-antique artefacts

Last updated: 16 September 2022

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What is the Export Permit for Non-Antique Artefacts?

The Export Permit for Non-Antique Artefacts is a permit issued by the Department of Culture. It allows us to preserve Bhutan’s important cultural artefacts for the benefit of our people, now and in future. It also creates reassurance for our guests that the souvenirs they purchase do not deprive our kingdom of its heritage. 

Certain valuable cultural items may not be removed from Bhutan under the Movable Cultural Property Act of Bhutan, 2005. This prohibits the removal of objects of artistic, historic, cultural, religious, social, archaeological or technical interest that are more than 100 years old. Examples include: 

  • Images, figures and depictions of buddhas, bodhisattvas and other deities;

  • Manuscripts, scriptures and associated objects, such as cloth wrappers, prayer flags and amulets;

  • Stupas;

  • Ritual objects;

  • Furniture, textiles and clothing;

  • Architectural salvage materials. 

 The prohibition also extends to valuable objects of any age, including: 

  • Ornaments and jewellery;

  • Objects made from animal parts;

  • Weapons and armour;

  • Archaeological materials and fossils.

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