This year’s training took place on 30.01.2017 at the Malzfabrik.
The topic was Art Basel and the challenges it poses for transporters and galleries. We invited our long-standing partner from Basel, Mr. Sam Schärer, branch manager of KRAFT E.L.S., to join us. Mr. Schärer accepted this invitation and also packed a few forms with him. We hit the nerve of the galleries with this topic.

Art Basel is the most important/respected art fair in the world. Everyone wants to be here, those who participate have made it into the professional art business. 10 galleries were represented with their registrars and were now eager to hear what we had to report.

The subject of customs is generally a very dry one. Art Basel has existed since 1968 and galleries have had to deal with the subject of customs ever since. Among other things, Mr. Schärer explained to the galleries what it means for Swiss freight forwarders to become exhibition shippers. The fair makes participation expensive. This ultimately has an impact on transport prices.
As always, we need the packaging dimensions of all works in order to make an effective offer. For Art Basel, however, all values must now also be precisely determined and their customs status. All office equipment and tools must be properly declared.

We drive from Berlin to Basel with 5 vehicles and have to go through customs again at the Swiss border before we can continue our journey. In principle, the border customs office is allowed to take a random sample of each truck. Everyone hopes that it won’t be their own truck, so it’s always exciting. Then we go to the guarded Kunstshipper checkpoint in Basel.
We register there and wait until we are called to unload one truck after the other in the Accord.

What is important for a gallery owner to know while selling at the fair in Basel?

As Switzerland is a third country, everything that is transported to Basel has to be registered for customs purposes. This always causes chaos, as customers want to take their work with them as soon as they have bought it. But is that possible?

How high is the import sales tax for art in Switzerland?

Can’t I just bring my gallery friend from Spain a work from Berlin?

Why do galleries have to pay presentation commission and what are the customs guarantees used for?

These and many other questions were discussed here. Individual case studies from days gone by were examined in more detail.

Now ArtBasel can come, we are prepared…

Your Artseco Team