Singapore is a recognized economic hub in Southeast Asia, excelling in commerce, technology, and finance. It is also known for its fast-growing art scene that has exploded in recent years, turning the city-state into a must-visit destination for all fans of high-quality modern and contemporary art. Not only is Singapore home to the Singapore Art Museum dedicated to contemporary visual arts and the National Gallery Singapore known for its amazing display of modern Southeast Asian art, but it is also home to many international galleries and a wealth of talented artists. Collectors and curators from around the globe come to Singapore to enjoy and acquire paintings, sculptures, and other art pieces that surprise them with their variety and originality.
At some point, both sellers and buyers face the question of how to ship fine art from Singapore to Europe, the United States, or elsewhere so that every single piece arrives intact. Here is a comprehensive guide of the most important things to consider when shipping art (and antiques) internationally.
How to Ship Fine Art from Singapore?
1. Assistance of a professional fine art shipping company
The first and most important thing to consider is that you need the help of a professional fine art shipping company. Be it a painting, sculpture, or any other artwork that is too valuable or fragile to be shipped by a regular carrier, it is crucial to ensure that it will be handled by people specializing in the transportation of art and antiques. Only professional art shippers with years of experience in the art logistics field can guarantee the safe and secure delivery of precious cargo anywhere in the world.
2. Proper packing with the use of quality materials
There are lots of packing materials out there, but not all of them are suitable for packing artworks. For example, if you are shipping an unframed painting, you need to use acid-free paper to cover the painted surface. You may also need special corner protectors, painter’s tape for the artwork framed with glass, and a range of other materials depending on what exactly you are shipping. All of these materials should be of the highest quality, including the shipping box that should be new and durable enough to withstand a long-distance move.
3. Custom crating of the most delicate items
In case you are shipping a highly valuable, fragile, odd-shaped, or delicate piece of art, consider crating your artwork because soft packaging is not enough to protect it in transit properly. Custom wooden crates are built with the dimensions and shipping requirements of each transported item in mind, which ensures safe and secure delivery anywhere in the world. In other words, if you are planning to ship something truly exceptional from Singapore to the US, Europe, or elsewhere, a custom crate is the best option.
4. Art insurance covering damages and physical loss
No matter whether you are shipping a valuable artwork for the first time or have already done it before numerous times, you need to purchase appropriate art insurance coverage. Even if the artwork is properly packed and shipped by a professional art logistics company, the truth is that no one knows what may happen in transit. Unforeseen circumstances can and do occur, turning even a well-organized art shipping process into a disaster. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you protect yourself from any financial loss.
5. Customs documentation and export controls
Last but not least thing that every artist, gallerist, or collector should pay attention to is customs documentation and export controls. Shipping fine art from Singapore to another country may require certain documentation to complete, as well as export permits and certificates. Make sure you know all the nuances of the international transportation of art from Singapore and also the import rules of the destination country. Your awareness of customs documentation and procedures is essential if you want your art to reach its destination.
These were some of the most important things to consider when shipping fine art from Singapore. There are many of them actually, depending on what exactly you are shipping, the destination country, packing requirements, and some other factors. If you feel you cannot handle the art transportation process yourself, entrust this job to professionals. It will cost you more, but it is much better than risking the safety of your precious works of art.