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UK Collectibles and Art Exports

Exporting Collectibles, Autographs, Artworks and Antiques from the UK: VAT Rates and Certificates

Exporting collectibles, autographs, artworks and antiques from the United Kingdom (UK) to the European Union (EU) or other non-EU countries involves a set of rules and regulations worth understanding. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of this process, shedding light on import VAT rates, certificates, and how they apply to these valuable items.

Understanding Import VAT Rates: When it comes to transporting British collectibles, autographs, artworks and antiques into the EU, it’s essential to grasp the application of import Value Added Tax (VAT) rates. These rates can vary significantly between member states and even more so when dealing with specific categories of items such as artworks, collectibles, or antiques.

  • Austria: An import VAT rate of 13% applies.
  • Belgium: The rate is notably lower at just 6%.
  • Bulgaria: Expect a 20% VAT rate when importing collectibles and antiques.
  • Croatia: A higher rate of 25% is applied.
  • Cyprus: Enjoy a lower rate of 5%.
  • Czech Republic: The VAT rate stands at 15%.
  • Denmark: It’s a steep 25% for import VAT.
  • Estonia: A rate of 20% applies.
  • Finland: The rate varies between 10% and 24%.
  • France: A 5.5% rate is in place.
  • Germany: For artworks and collectibles, it’s 7%, but antiques face a 19% rate.
  • Greece: The rate is 24%.
  • Hungary: A higher rate of 27% applies.
  • Ireland: A rate of 13.5% is standard.
  • Italy: Expect a 10% VAT rate.
  • Latvia: The rate is 21%.
  • Lithuania: Similar to Latvia, it’s 21%.
  • Luxembourg: A lower rate of 8% is in place.
  • Malta: Enjoy a 5% rate.
  • Netherlands: The rate is 9%.
  • Poland: It’s 8% for import VAT.
  • Portugal: Rates vary from 6% (for artworks) to 23% (for antiques and collectibles).
  • Romania: The rate stands at 19%.
  • Slovakia: Expect a rate of 20%.
  • Slovenia: A 9.5% rate applies.
  • Spain: The rate for collectibles and antiques is 10%.
  • Sweden: The rate is 12%.

Obtaining the Necessary Certificates: Exporting collectibles and antiques to certain nations may qualify you for duty-free or reduced-duty entry, provided you have the required certificate of antiquity authorised by the appropriate authorities. To ensure smooth customs procedures, this certification typically involves specifying the objects designated as antiques in a schedule created by the exporter. While these certificates can support entry into several countries, our assessors may still need to physically inspect the items in question.

Countries Requiring Certificates: Certain countries have specific requirements for importing collectibles and antiques:

  • Australia: While a certificate may affect import duty rates, it doesn’t exempt you from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10%. However, items bequeathed by will to an Australian resident are often duty and GST-free when proper documentation is presented.
  • Canada: Two copies of the certificate may be required, and all items entering Canada are subject to a 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • New Zealand: A certificate may entitle you to a lower import duty rate, but a 12.5% GST may still apply. Items left in a will to a New Zealand resident are generally duty and GST-free with proper documentation.
  • South Africa: Antiques entering South Africa face a 14% VAT, which may be reclaimed if the importer is VAT-registered.

Countries Benefiting from Special Letters: Some countries may require or benefit from special letters or documentation for smoother entry:

  • Bahrain
  • Barbados (only for entry support)
  • Kuwait
  • Malta (only for entry support)
  • Morocco: This country requires six duplicates of the certification, cover letter, and invoice, all with authentic stamps.
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Singapore (only for entry support)
  • Thailand
  • USA (only for entry support)
  • Venezuela: It’s advisable to bring the certificate to a public notary who will verify its issuance and the Secretary’s signature.

Please keep in mind that customs laws and duties can change over time, so staying updated with the latest regulations is crucial when dealing with collectibles and antiques exports.

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