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Wright, the former attorney general, was unveiled as secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) to replace Matt Hancock, who moved to become health secretary after just six months heading DCMS.

Art market associations are hopeful of an early discussion on the freer movement of art and antiques. Unlike other categories of exports – and despite requests to speed up the process with a digital alternative – the export of art, antiques and cultural goods remains a paper-based system.

The pressure to solve the issue has grown with concerns about possible border delays once the UK leaves the EU in March 2019.

Chairman of the British Art Market Federation, Anthony Browne, told ATG: “We have been promised a digital alternative for a number of years and I will be bringing it up with the new minister.”

Export licence factfile

  • Whether you need an individual licence for export out of the UK depends on the age and value of the cultural good(s)
  • The Export Licensing Unit within Arts Council England (the Arts Council) issues export licences on behalf of the secretary of state. Application forms are currently not available electronically
  • If a cultural object has arrived in the UK within the last 50 years, documentary evidence must provide details of its provenance
  • If an expert (eg a museum curator or dealer) needs to be consulted on the application, allowing for postage times, licences normally take 28 working days to be issued Source: artscouncil.org.uk