The documents covered by the treaty include printed books, newspapers, magazines, government publications, printed music, works of art, antiquities over 100 years old, scientific instruments used in training or research, and educational films. The agreement does not apply to materials containing excessive amounts of promotional material.  The agreement was adopted by resolution on 17 June 1950 at a UNESCO general conference in Florence, Italy. Opened for signature on May 21, 1950 in Lake Success, New York, it came into effect on May 21, 1952. Since 2014, it has been signed by 29 states and ratified by 102 states, including 101 UN member states plus the Holy See. The states that signed the agreement but did not ratify it are Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras and Peru. There is no deadline for signing or ratifying the agreement. The provisions of this agreement do not impede the application of prohibitions or restrictions imposed by national laws and regulations on the basis of morality or public order, public safety, public health or public health. All Member States of the United Nations can become parties to this instrument. The agreement on the importation of educational, scientific and cultural materials (also known as the Florence Convention) is a 1950 UNESCO treaty in which states agree not to tax certain imported educational, scientific and cultural materials. On 26 November 1976, the protocol to the Convention on the Importation of Educational, Scientific or Cultural Goods was concluded in Nairobi, Kenya. The protocol, also known as the Nairobi Protocol, expands the types of materials covered by the agreement.
The protocol came into force on January 2, 1982 and has been signed by 13 states since 2013 and ratified by 46 states. New Zealand and Oman signed the protocol but did not ratify it. The aim of this convention, developed by the United Nations in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is to promote the importation of books, publications and educational, scientific or cultural materials. In accordance with its provisions, States Parties do not apply tariffs related to the importation of these materials, nor do they apply quantitative restrictions or trade controls. The 1950 agreement consists of a main part and five annexes that list the types of books, publications and documents affected 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 other subjects and expands the benefits for objects already designated. By signing this agreement, a state favours the importation of educational, scientific or cultural materials for simpler and less costly accessibility by its population. It also authorizes the distribution abroad of goods originating in its territory.