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Handicrafts in Uzbekistan


At the customs checkpoint the customs officer might request to see any handicrafts and souvenir items you have bought in order to ensure you are not illegally exporting items of cultural value or antiques. If you are bringing such items out of the country be sure to have proper documentation. For other souvenirs, it's a good idea to have a receipt or certificate from the shop that states that the item is mass-produced. If you don't have a certificate, there is an expert from the Ministry of Culture of Uzbekistan on duty at the airport who is tasked with inspecting suspected items. An "inspection fee" must be paid on site; the amount of the fee depends on the nature and value of item being inspected. When making purchases during your travel in Uzbekistan it is advised to keep receipts and request certificates of items that may have cultural value and/or look like antique. Items that have cultural value and souvenirs out of Uzbekistan:

- Antique items (carpets, ceramics, suzanis, musical instruments, paintings, etc) that were created 50 (fifty) or more years ago are not allowed to be taken out of Uzbekistan.

- Items of cultural value that were made within the last 50 (fifty) years (including fully handmade artwork, exclusive handicrafts, artwork that contains precious metals and stones, items or fragments of items found during archeological excavations, ancient books, musical instruments, and various kinds of weapons that have historical or cultural value) require a special certificate from the Ministry of Culture of Uzbekistan in order to be taken out of Uzbekistan.

Mass-produced items - ordinary souvenirs, machine-made suzanis, carpets, embroidery products made within last 50 (fifty) years - require no special certificate. However, to prove that such items are indeed mass-produced you should get a receipt or certificate stating such from the shop where you purchased the item. If a customs officer has doubts about whether or not items you are carrying have cultural value, and you cannot produce the necessary documentation, he or she will ask the expert from the Ministry of Culture on duty at the expert to inspect the item. The inspection fee must be paid on-the-spot in cash by the owner of the item in question. The amount of the fee depends on size and value of the item. The minimum fee starts from about 25,000 Uzbek Soum.

P.S. Please keep with yourself till departure the copy of your passport and visa page for your security purpose and hold it till your departure with you in Uzbekistan.