The National Cultural Heritage Control List

The National Cultural Heritage Control List (the Control List)can be found in the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Regulations 1987 at Schedule 1. The Control List is divided into nine parts and each part covers a particular type of cultural object and describes the criteria that an individual object must meet to be an Australian protected object.

The Control List also divides protected objects into two export 'classes':

  • Class A—objects that may not be exported
  • Class B—objects that may be exported if granted a permit under the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986.

Summary of the Control List

Different classes of objects are defined using different criteria. You should always consult the Control List before deciding whether an object is included in the listed categories. Contact details for enquiries regarding Australian cultural property and the Control List can be found at Movable cultural heritage.

Class A

Comprises objects of such significance to Australia that they may not be exported:

  • Victoria Cross medals awarded to Australian service personnel as listed at Part 7.2(A) of the Regulations
  • each piece of the suit of metal armour worn by Ned Kelly at the siege of Glenrowan in Victoria in 1880 as listed at Part 9.2(A), and

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects which cannot be exported include:

  • sacred and secret ritual objects
  • bark and log coffins used as traditional burial objects
  • human remains
  • rock art
  • dendroglyphs (carved trees).

Class B

Comprises objects that are of cultural significance to Australia and require permission to be exported. The categories are:

Some objects may be included under more than one category. For example, photographs can be assessed under the fine or decorative art, documentary heritage and historical significance categories.

Not all objects are covered by the control list and some are deliberately excluded. For example, most works of art less than 30 years old and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art less than 20 years old do not require permission for export or import.