The art world is an intricate tapestry of creativity, culture, and commerce. Events like Frieze London serve as vibrant hubs where artists and collectors converge to celebrate art. But the journey of an artwork doesn’t end at the gallery booth – the delicate and complex task of shipping these artworks to private homes and collections around the world begins. To shed light on this process, ICEFAT – the trade organisation that has developed the first set of fine art shipping and storage standards – has gathered insights from its membership about best practices.
Step 1: Select Your Shipper
Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Atelier 4, stresses the importance of selecting the right shipping company for the task. Many buyers may have worked with standard household movers and may consider using a regularcompany to save costs. However, Schwartz cautions against this, saying: “The reality is, household movers and fine art shippers offer entirely different skill sets. Your best bet is to hire an ICEFAT company to handle your art to ensure standards and service are high.” Utilising fine art shippers that are well-versed in the unique requirements of transporting artworks is certainly a good investment to avoid mishaps; working with a standard shipper could ultimately prove more costly.
Step 2: Allow Your Shipper To Guide You
Oliver Howell, Managing Director of Gander & White Shipping UK, underlines the importance of working with a fine art shipper that stays up-to-date on all administrative parts of international shipping processes for thesecategories. Moving items to any country in the post-Brexit era necessitates correct customs documentation. Howell advises working with a company that thoroughly understands these needs in both the origin and destination countries.
“Export licenses, specific permits, import permits, documentation requirements, and tax implications must all be considered as part of the process,” Howell advises. “For all of the above, you need a reliable agent to guide you.” Expert packing and transportation can only be executed effectively after this groundwork is complete.