Breach of the rules

The provisions on responsibility for illegal exports of cultural goods and attempted illegal export are set out in the Act (2000:1225) on penalties for smuggling (the Smuggling Act).

According to the Smuggling Act (Section 3 and Section 14) smuggling and attempted smuggling are both criminal offences. If the smuggling offence is considered to be grave, the offender is sentenced to imprisonment for a minimum of six months and a maximum of six years (Smuggling Act, Section 5). A fine is imposed for petty offences (Smuggling Act, Section 4).

When assessing whether an offence is grave, the court gives particular consideration to whether the act formed part of a step in criminality that was exercised systematically or on a large scale, was of a particularly dangerous nature, or if the act otherwise involved a serious violation of an important public interest (Smuggling Act, Section 5, paragraph 2).

A person who commits an act referred to in Section 3 of the Smuggling Act by gross negligence is to be sentenced to a fine or imprisonment for at most two years (Smuggling Act, Section 7).

In cases of goods smuggling the smuggled property is forfeited. Exemptions are made if it is manifestly unreasonable to declare the goods or their value forfeited (Smuggling Act, Section 16).

A person who intentionally packages, transports, stores, conceals, processes, acquires, transfers or enters into a contract for the grant of a pledge in goods that were the subject of an offence can be sentenced to a fine or imprisonment of at most six years (Smuggling Act, Sections 12–13). The crime in this case is unlawful dealing with smuggled goods.

Obligation to notify Swedish Customs

If cultural goods that are covered by an export ban are to be exported from Sweden to another EU country, Swedish Customs must first be notified.

According to Section 4 of the Act on the powers of Swedish Customs at Sweden’s borders with other European Union Countries, there is also an obligation to notify if:


  • Conditions for export have not been met.
  • A good is exported with the support of a permit granted on the basis of incorrect information.
  • Required information has not been provided.