Shipment of the artworks

Customs formalities evolve through the time, and changes can be registered in some countries. So, to save time, it is advised to call the Customs Office of your airport. They will inform you very clearly and very precisely about the formalities that you have to fulfill. The Phone number of the Customs Services are available on the airports websites.

  • More, the World Customs Organization website gathers all the information you can look for.
  • In 2011, the Swedish IAA AIAP Committee published a booklet regarding the packaging, the shipment, and the Insurance of the art works: 'EXPORTING ART', ISBN 978-91-979535-0-4.
  • Click here to read the booklet 'Exporting Art'.

The protocol to be respected is as following:

1°/ The shipment is made by an official shipping company: the shipper prepares an ATA Carnet for the Customs formalities, with the list of the works, their technical description, and their insurance value, work per work. Photos are very appreciated by the Customs. This ATA Carnet follows the works and is given to the shipping company agent when the plane is unloaded. The agent makes the Customs formalities with this carnet, at the arrival of the works, and when they leave the country. The artist only has to prepare the list of his works with their insurance values and photos of the works.

2°/ The artist travels with his works: the artist gives the very precise list of the works with a technical description, the insurance value piece per piece, the global insurance value, and photos. The name, address, phones and mail of the artist will be indicated on this list. The Customs Office stamps this list which is the ‘passport’ for the works. This stamp is enough to authorize the leaving of the national territory and the entrance in another country. This stamped list must be declared when arriving in the concerned country. For the return shipment this stamped list must be given to the Customs Office again.

If works were sold during the exhibition, a declaration with the bill has to be done to the Customs in order to make the presence of the sold works in the country official and legal. Then a definitive importation certificate of the works is established by the Customs Office. This formality is made to prevent from artworks illicit traffic.

Defending the artists' rights
Shipment of the works