The shipping of artwork can be an extremely complex process. The following advice provides some guidance, but we recommend that you contact our art team as each shipment is unique.
Get EORI registered
If you are importing into or exporting out of the EU, you must be EORI registered. EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) is separate to VAT registration but can be linked to it, you do not need to be VAT registered to be EORI registered. In some instances, artists may be covered by their agent or gallery’s EORI, but if you are managing art sales and transport yourself, you must register yourself. To find out more and to see how you can apply for an EORI number, visit our Ready Steady Brexit page and scroll down to the article.
Use Professional Packers
The safest way to protect valuable and fragile artwork is to use our professional art packaging service. Insurers will only consider offering cover for loss or damage in transit with evidence (photographic) of condition and packaging. There are 6 main packaging methodologies demonstrated on our Professional Packaging for Shipping Art guide where you will also find a video guide to packaging frameless prints.
Arrange adequate insurance
Wherever possible we advise artists, galleries, and agents to have their own all risks, goods in transit insurance in place. Where this is not possible our art team can provide quotes for individual shipments through our specialist broker – this is subject to photographic evidence of pre-packing condition and packing process. Our standard insurance within our terms and conditions of business offers only a minimal level of cover based on shipment weight and is not suitable for artwork. Full details of standard insurance and terms can be viewed in our Terms & Conditions.
Avoid Customs Clearance delays
In order to facilitate smooth customs clearance of your artwork submission, accurate paperwork is critical and your checklist should contain any / all of the following, dependent on destination:
- Commercial Sales Invoice – (you will find a useful template on our Tools page)
- Art Declaration – (our team can provide this for you)
- Carnet – for the temporary export of artwork and avoidance of vat and duty, usually for exhibitions and return at a later date. We can arrange these with the Chamber of Commerce on your behalf.
More information on Carnets can be found on our Artists, Temporary Exports and Carnets page.