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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Application Procedure and Checklist (Revised October 2015)



1. Address your application cover letter to the Assistant Legal Adviser for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

2. Ensure that your application contains all items listed in the Application Checklist below.

3. Submit your application by e-mail, by mail, or by courier. The Office encourages submissions by e-mail.

Please note: The Office requests that applications be submitted a minimum of 6 weeks prior to the date of importation. If you are requesting an early publication date (see Checklist Item No. 1), the Office requests that your application be submitted a minimum of 6 weeks prior to that date.

By E-mail: E-mail your application to

Please note:

a) To assist us in our review, please divide your attachments into separate files. (e.g., cover letter, schedule of objects, cultural significance statement)

b) Please utilize a consistent format when naming your attachment files. (e.g., Cover Letter.pdf, Schedule of Objects.pdf, Loan Agreement_XYZ Lender.pdf)

c) If your application totals more than 10MB in size, please send multiple e-mails, with each being less than 10MB in size.

d) Please do not e-mail your application to an Office staff member even if you have worked with that member before on a prior application. All e-mailed applications must be sent to

By Mail: Mail your application to the following address:

Assistant Legal Adviser for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, L/PD, SA-5, Suite 5H03, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20522-0505

Please note:

a) The Office encourages that mailed applications be sent expedited to facilitate timely receipt.

b) The Office does not accept applications contained on discs, USB flash drives, or any other portable electronic storage device.

By Courier: Courier your application to the following address:

Assistant Legal Adviser for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, L/PD, SA-5, 2200 C Street, N.W., U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20037

4. Upon receipt, the Office will e-mail the contact person listed in your application. If you submitted your application by e-mail and have not received a confirmation e-mail within two business days of submission, please e-mail

5. To inquire about the status of your application following submission, you may call 202-632-6471 or e-mail


Please submit the following items in your application:

1. A list of expected places and dates of exhibition, especially the date the objects are expected to arrive in the United States. (Be certain to notify the Department of State of any changes in importation date). If the foreign owner or custodian requires that immunity determinations be published before it will export the objects, please provide the requested date by which publication would need to occur;

2. A specific statement of whether or not “the exhibition is to be administered, operated or sponsored without profit to the borrowing or participating institutions.” (Even though catalogue and print sales and admission and similar fees—all of which merely cover costs—are permissible, a description of all charges or preferences in admission should be provided.);

3. A schedule of all the imported objects to be covered (to include the location from which each object is being imported and a description of each object);

Please note: The title of the exhibition should be stated on the schedule.

4. A scholarly statement establishing the cultural significance of the imported objects;

5. A statement concerning the provenance of works to be borrowed, as follows:

“The applicant certifies that it has undertaken professional inquiry—including independent, multi-source research—into the provenance of the objects proposed for determination of cultural significance and national interest. The applicant certifies further that it does not know or have reason to know of any circumstances with respect to any of the objects that would indicate the potential for competing claims of ownership [except as described below. For the objects for which circumstances exist that would indicate the potential for competing claims of ownership, the following is a description of such circumstances and the likelihood any such claim would succeed].”

Please note: If you are aware of current or past litigation over ownership, please mention and describe.

6. Facts supporting an assertion that all U.S. participants are cultural or educational institutions, such as an organization’s current IRC § 501(c)(3) determination letter;

7. A copy of each “agreement entered into between the foreign owner or custodian thereof and the United States or one or more cultural or educational institutions within the United States providing for the temporary exhibition…” of the object(s), a copy of any agreements with participating museums or other U.S. cultural or educational institutions, and a copy of any agreements between a foreign owner and a foreign custodian;

Please note: If an agreement is not in English, please provide both the agreement and an English translation.

8. Copies of all related commercial agreements between any or all of the U.S. institutions and the foreign owner/custodian or other parties (excluding support agreements/contracts for such things as insurance, transport, or storage); and

Please note: If an agreement is not in English, please provide both the agreement and an English translation.

9. The contact person for the application, and his or her telephone number and e-mail address.

* * *

For your convenience, please visit the “Sample Application and Contract Language” link for sample introductory paragraphs you may wish to use in your application cover letter and for sample contract language you may wish to use in your loan agreement(s).

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