The chromosomal passenger complex (CPC) of Aurora-B, Borealin, INCENP (inner centromere protein) and Survivin coordinates essential chromosomal and cytoskeletal events during mitosis. Here, we show that the nuclear export receptor Crm1 is crucially involved in tethering the CPC to the centromere by interacting with a leucine-rich nuclear export signal (NES), evolutionarily conserved in all mammalian Survivin proteins. We show that inhibition of the Survivin-Crm1 interaction by treatment with leptomycin B or by RNA-interference-mediated Crm1 depletion prevents centromeric targeting of Survivin. The genetic inactivation of the Survivin-Crm1 interaction by mutation of the NES affects the correct localization and function of Survivin and the CPC during mitosis. By contrast, CPC assembly does not seem to require the Survivin-Crm1 interaction. Our report shows the functional significance of the Survivin-Crm1 interface and provides a novel link between the mitotic effector Crm1 and the CPC.