The import of torture goods is either prohibited, or subject to a prior ministerial authorisation, or not restricted at all if certain conditions are met. The type of restriction is dependent on the concerned category of torture goods.
Any application for authorisation shall be submitted to OCEIT using an available application form. The application will be processed within 60 working days from the day the file is complete. The individual authorisation is valid for 1 year, the global authorisation is valid for 3 years, renewable.
Who is concerned
Any importer who wishes to import goods which have no practical use other than for the purposes of capital punishment, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Annex II of Regulation 2019/125) must get an authorisation if the import is made for the purpose of public display in a museum in view of their historic significance. Any import for another purpose is prohibited.
The import of goods which have no practical use other than for the purposes of capital punishment, torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Annex II of Regulation 2019/125) is prohibited, irrespective of the origin of these goods. The import of such goods may however be authorised if the exporter demonstrates that, in the country to which the goods will be exported, such goods will be used for the exclusive purpose of public display in a museum in view of their historic significance.
No prohibition or restriction applies to the import of goods that could be used for the purpose of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Annex III of Regulation 2019/125) and goods that could be used for the purpose of capital punishment and have been approved or actually used for capital punishment by one or more third countries that have not abolished capital punishment (Annex IV of Regulation 2019/125).
The import of portable electric shock devices is prohibited, except if they accompany their user for the purpose of his/her personal protection.
In order to be able to submit the application electronically, the importer must first make an express request (on free paper or by email) to OCEIT and get their approval.
How to proceed
Submission of the application
The application is made by mail or electronically (if the importer has previously obtained OCEIT’s approval).
The application (or the declaration) shall be signed by a person authorised to commit the applicant. By this signature, the applicant certifies the accuracy of the information provided in the application and that of the content of any documents attached to it. He/she undertakes as well to provide the goods concerned with a destination in accordance with his/her application.
The supporting documents to be attached to the application for an individual or global authorisation are the following:
- detailed explanatory letter of the operation;
- invoice / pro forma invoice;
- sales agreement;
- Air Way Bill (AWB);
- international import certificate, or another official document issued by the competent authorities of the country of final destination of the good (where such a certificate has been issued at the request of the exporting third country);
- recent extract from RCS (less than 3 months).
Deadlines for reply
Any application for an individual or global authorisation shall be acknowledged by OCEIT.
In case of an incomplete application, the applicant shall be informed of the need to provide additional documents and any consequences for the period for processing the application.
The application for authorisation shall be processed within 60 working days of the day on which the file is complete.
This 60 day period may be extended for a maximum of 30 working days. The extension and its duration shall be duly reasoned and notified by OCEIT before the expiry of the initial period.
In the absence of a reply within the period provided for, the application for authorisation shall be considered as granted.
Duration of validity
Authorisations shall be valid:
- 1 year for individual authorisations, renewable for a period of 6 months;
- 3 years for global authorisations, renewable for a period of 18 months.
The importer shall transmit to OCEIT, at the latest 10 working days after the expiry date, the obsolete authorisation which is in his/her possession.
The importer shall report to OCEIT the loss of any authorisation document.
The importer must comply with the special conditions contained in the authorisation.
The importer shall keep detailed and complete registers of operations carried out pursuant to the authorisation. These registers shall contain the commercial documents, such as invoices, manifests, transport documents or other shipping documents, showing the following information:
- the description of the goods and their references in the applicable list or nomenclature;
- the quantity and value of the imported products;
- the dates of import;
- the name and address of the exporter and the recipient, depending on the case;
- the end-use and end-user of the goods.
The importer shall keep the registers for a period of 10 years from the end of the calendar year in which the transaction took place. He/she shall present them to the ministers at their request during that period.
The importer shall provide, without delay, at the first request of the ministers or OCEIT, the elements and documents necessary to verify the conformity of the operation carried out or foreseen.
In the event the authorisation is denied, a legal action may be lodged, by an Avocat à la Cour, against the administrative decision within the period of 3 months from the date of the notification of the administrative decision to the concerned person.
A prohibition (limited to 6 months or definite) or another restriction to carry out one or more activities, and/or the suspension for a maximum period of 6 months from the use of a general European Union or national authorisation, or a global authorisation, and/or a penalty payment (which cannot be higher than 1,250 euros per day, but cannot exceed 25,000 euros) may be pronounced against anyone who:
- refuses to provide the documents or other information requested of them by the ministers or OCEIT;
- provides the ministers or OCEIT with documents or other information that is found to be incomplete or false;
- impedes the exercise of the powers of the ministers or OCEIT;
- does not follow the orders of the ministers or OCEIT.
May be punished by an imprisonment of 5 months to 10 years and/or a fine of 25,000 to 1,000,000 euros, anyone who is importing torture goods without having been granted the required authorisation or without respecting the prohibition applicable to the operation.
May be punished by an imprisonment of 6 months to 5 years and/or a fine of 7,500 to 75,000 euros, anyone who:
- fails to keep the registers or does not keep them during the period of 10 years (starting with the end of the calendar year during which the operation took place);
- fails to present the registers at the first request of the ministers;
- omits, repeatedly or significantly, to fill in one or more of the mandatory information in the registers;
- provides, in the context of an application for authorisation, information that is false or incomplete;
- does not fulfil the commitments made in the declarations of use and applications for authorisation submitted to the ministers;
- fails to provide information within the time limits and in the manner set out.
Review of the file
The ministers may, at any time, withdraw, suspend for a period not exceeding 90 days or restrict the use of the authorisations they have issued.
Such a review may happen in exceptional circumstances justifying urgent measures, for reasons of protection of the essential security interests of the State, for reasons of public order or national or eternal security, such as transport safety, storage safety, the risk of diversion, the prevention of crime, or for non-compliance with the conditions specified in the authorisation.
Forms / Online services
Annexe 12 - Biens susceptibles d'être utilisés en vue d'infliger la peine capitale, la torture ou d'autres peines ou traitements cruels, inhumains ou dégradants - importation demande d'autorisation