Monday, June 01, 2020

How to pack, mail and ship art - domestically and internationally

How to pack, mail and ship art - to buyers, exhibitions, other countries - is one of those critical "NEED TO KNOW" topics for ALL those selling art online

Since the Pandemic started a lot of artists are now selling more art online - either compared to pre-pandemic or for the first time.

This post is for all those who
  • EITHER "don't know what they need to know" 
  • OR need a refresher 
  • OR need to check on what has changed
REFERENCE / BOOKMARK: If you think you might want to reference this page again, why not
  • bookmark it digitally and/or 
  • print it off (click the title to get a seperate complete page for this blog post)


A Compendium of Information & Advice about Packing & Transporting Art


Most of the information and advice I provide about packing, mailing and shipping fine art is now provided in the "Ship Art" section of my website Art Business Information for Artists.

I'm assured by very many artists that there is nothing else like this section on the Internet!

I've certainly not found anything which merits the subtitle I've given it i.e.
A Compendium of Information & Advice about Packing & Transporting Art

Here's the reason why I started to develop and then record information about packaging. My first exhibition was in the USA!
Is your knowledge about packaging and shipping art "a big black hole"?

Starting out, I found packaging and shipping artwork one of the most challenging aspects of selling art - particularly when it needs to be sent to another country.
I worked hard to find out more about the best ways to pack and ship art - and started making notes! Fine Art Transport

Outline of contents


Fine Art Transport Home Page

This is a major section of my website - providing a lot of detailed information and advice

This contains
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about packaging, posting and shipping art - which shows you where you can find the answer
  • 10 Top Tips for Packaging and Shipping Artwork


​Packing Fine Art


How to wrap and pack artwork for shipping 


How to weigh, measure, wrap, pack and label artwork which needs to be transported. This page covers:
  • SUMMARY TIPS: How to create a package for artwork
  • HOW TO label a package
  • HOW TO measure dimensions, volume and weight
  • HOW TO: wrap and pack framed and/or glazed works
  • ​HOW TO: package and ship giclee prints / drawings / works on paper
  • HOW TO: wrap and pack unframed and framed pastel paintings
  • HOW TO: package and ship 3D - sculpture and ceramics

Packaging Material for Shipping Art 

Packaging materials for wrapping, packing and shipping art


This page includes the pros and cons of different types of packaging - for different purposes.

It looks at ​

  • TWO types of packaging for packaging art for shipping ​INTERNAL and EXTERNAL.
    • Internal Packaging: This helps to make it look good and keeps it dry . Plus it protects the work should your package get opened by customs.
    • External Packaging: During transit - or while in storage - external packaging helps to protect and keep the artwork safe from harm
  • PLUS NEW: where to source green / more environmentally friendly packaging materials - which has become of increasing concern for many artists since I first started developing this resource.


Couriers, Movers and Shippers


How to Mail Art


How to mail art - using General Mail and Parcel Services
 


This post covers general mail and parcel services for mailing paintings, drawings and prints in the UK and USA

There's a general consensus that
  • the local mail service is fine for sending smaller packages
  • however big parcels need a professional courier service
The next question is "Do you need a general mail / parcel / courier service OR a specialised service used to dealing with fine art?"

This page provides an overview of the generic (i.e. non-specialist) post / parcel / courier services on offer in the UK and USA

UK Art Movers and Carriers

UK Art Movers, Couriers & Fine Art Transport Services 

What you need to know; what your courier needs to know & which couriers move artwork


How to get your fine art from A to B without using the post or taking it yourself
PLUS Three CHECKLISTS FOR assessing couriers/movers
  • #1 What the courier needs to know AND
  • #2 What YOU need to know before placing an order PLUS
  • ​#3 Legal Requirements for ALL businesses trading at a distance (by phone or internet i.e. not face to face - which is exactly what you do when you place an order with a courier!) This is all the information YOU should expect to see or be provided with by ANYBODY trading on the Internet
PLUS

Listing of Art Movers and Couriers in the UK
  • suggested as suitable by major art organisations
  • typically used by artists to get artwork to galleries / exhibitions
  • national and regional​

Listing of specialised Fine Art Shipping Services (major and minor)

  • Including those with a Royal Warrant / members of ARTIM
  • Used by larger organisations and/or collectors to move valuable fine art and/or to move art internationally
USA - Art Movers and Couriers

USA Art Movers, Couriers & Fine Art Transport services 

This page covers
  • ​Specialist Fine Art Shipping Services in the USA
  • International Art Shippers
  • Generic Shipping Services in the USA


How to Ship Fine Art to - exhibitions and other countries


There are two pages in this section - about sending art to other countries and to open art exhibitions and competitions. 


How to ship / export art to other countries 

International Art Shipping: How to export and ship art to other countries

What you need to know to ship (export) artwork internationally for exhibition and/or sale ​I find that an awful lot of artists have absolutely no idea at all about the rules and regulations relating to exporting art.

This includes how to get to grips with:
  • Export Invoices,
  • The EORI Number
  • Customs:
    • ​Customs Declaration Forms
    • ATA Carnet and work for exhibition only
    • Trade Tariff Commodity Codes,
  • Customs Charges, Taxes, Import Duty & VAT​
    • Tax on importing art for exhibition and sale
    • VAT on Art Imported to the EU area ​- for sale at art fairs, art competitions, juried & gallery exhibitions
    • ​Reimporting artwork
  • Export Licences for Cultural Goods
  • How to write an International Address
  • Size, weight and content restrictions
How to ship art to exhibitions

How to ship art to exhibitions

FIND OUT about
  • Answers to "frequently asked questions about shipping art to exhibitions" - organised by art galleries, art societies and art competitions.
  • suggested art couriers and transport agents for artwork that needs to be shipped to open exhibitions and art competitions
Bear in mind a lot of art competitions will only accept unpacked artwork and will not store packaging.
  • Make sure you do some advance research before you are notified that your work has been accepted.
  • Do be prepared to seek multiple quotes for the cost of shipping or couriering artwork
  • You may incur additional costs if you have a professional mailing service pack and ship your piece and unpack at the other end, store the packing materials and then ship back to you
  • Look for couriers who are prepared to provide example quotes for defined work moving from A to B. That's the best indicator of cost.
Also included are TIPS from
  • artists about packing for - and shipping to - art exhibitions
  • art societies and art competitions about shipping to their open exhibitions
Plus a visual section for those - from all over the world - who submit/bring a set of six artworks to the RHS Botanical Art Show held in London each year.


Did you find a mistake or an omission?

If you found a mistake or an omission, please let me know. This section is huge and contains masses of information - and needs to be checked from time to time to make sure it's up to date

Please contact me if you find anything that needs to added or remedied.

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