Agreement on the Importation of Educational, Scientific and Cultural Materials

General Detail

General Information

  1. Type: Convention
  2. Date of signature:
  3. Place of signature: Florence, Italy
  4. Depositary:
  5. Date of entry into force: 21/05/1952



Sub category

Exemption from Duties



What is it about?

The purpose of this Convention, drawn up by the United Nations in co-operation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is to favour the import of books, publications and documents of educational, scientific or cultural character. According to its provisions, the contracting States shall not levy custom duties in connection with the import of these materials, nor apply quantitative restrictions or exchange control measures. The 1950 Agreement consists of one main part and five annexes listing the types of books, publications and materials concerned by its provisions. The annexes are an integral part of the Agreement. The Nairobi Protocol (adopted on 26 November 1976) extends the scope of the Agreement to further materials and broadens the advantages for already designated items.

Why is it relevant?

In signing this Agreement a State privileges the import of educational, scientific or cultural materials for easier and cheaper accessibility by its population. It also permits those items originating within its territory to be distributed abroad.

Additional Information

The provisions of the present Agreement do not preclude the application of prohibitions or restrictions imposed under national laws and regulations on grounds of public morality or order, public security, public hygiene or health. All member States to the United Nations can become Party to this instrument.


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