International Fine Art Shipping: Things to Do and to Avoid

International Fine Art Shipping

International fine art shipping may seem more challenging than a cross-country move: different requirements, unfamiliar customs regulations, and even a different language, all play a huge role in the process. However, not everything is so difficult if you hire trusted experts, but it’s still good to know the basics. This blog post will help you get started. 

Basic Rules for International Fine Art Shipping

We’ve put together a list of basic do’s and don’ts so that you can be sure that your artwork will arrive safely to the other country when shipping it by air or sea.

1. Ship in an art crate

An art crate is a specialized wooden container used for packing and transporting artwork that requires extra protection. It is always custom-built according to the specific dimensions and requirements of each artwork. Since international fine art shipping usually involves many risks, such as mishandling, vibration, and temperature changes, art handlers always recommend shipping fine art pieces in crates rather than in soft packaging. The structure of a crate is strong enough to withstand external pressure, and it prevents the environmental conditions inside from sharp jumps in humidity and temperature levels.

2. Prepare comprehensive documentation

International fine art shipping is subject to both international and local laws regarding cultural values. Naturally, countries are concerned and seek to protect themselves from the illegal export of valuables. As a result, all documents related to your work will be carefully scrutinized at the border. It is very important to take a responsible approach to their preparation – or choose a professional who will do it perfectly for you.

3. Don’t save on insurance

We have already described the possible risks of international fine art transportation above. That is why it is so important to invest in good insurance that covers as many claims as possible. Unfortunately, standard shipping insurance doesn’t cover all possible risks, such as natural disasters or political unrest. You should also clearly understand the terms and conditions of the insurance policy. For example, there may be complications in the claims process if proper documentation or packaging requirements are not met. Finally, it’s worth knowing the amount of coverage. Standard shipping insurance typically covers only the cost of repair or replacement, while the potential loss in market value that an artwork may suffer due to damage is excess. For this reason, it is always better to opt for specialized transit art insurance.

4. Avoid last-minute planning

Last-minute planning is always a bad idea, but in the case of international fine art shipping, it can have irreparable consequences. Rushing to pack, not having time to prepare important documents, using unprofessional carriers because trusted ones are already booked… the list goes on and on. To avoid it, lay for at least a month to prepare for transportation.

We hope that this blog post was helpful to you. Although Fine Art Shippers is a New York-based company, we can also assist our clients with international fine art shipping from New York to any part of the world. Please contact us for more details.