Bernie Nuttall trades in French Art Deco glass and stalls out at Adams Antiques Fairs and IACF Ardingly.
“Most dealers who source at fairs and markets on the continent think of Brexit and its prospect of customs checks and tariffs as awful. We aren’t impeded by these now, which has created that strong antiques supply chain back and forth across the English Channel.
That said, there are difficulties with attending French and Belgian trade fairs. You have to be there in the first hour to get the bargains and you can’t be held up at customs.
The other issue is that many of the brocante sellers don’t issue receipts, so naturally it begs the question of what documentation will we have to show at customs.”
“Many brocante sellers don’t issue receipts, so what documentation will we have to show at customs?
Oliver Howell is managing director of art shippers Gander & White.
“With a hard or no-deal Brexit, ‘one man and a van’ taking objects to and from fairs and markets in the EU will prove impossible to do.
Right now, UK road vehicles can move across the EU without customs formalities when transporting goods that are in ‘free circulation’.
If we come out of the customs union however, a so-called Transit Form (T-form) will need to be raised to enable goods to move between the UK and the EU. We already use T-forms to transport art and objects that are not in ‘free circulation’ and goods going to countries outside the EU such as Switzerland.
To raise T-forms you need to set up a facility with customs and put up a guarantee – this is costly. Maintaining the facility as required by customs involves a lot of administration.
And if the T-form is not ‘discharged’ at destination within the stipulated period, then duties and taxes will be sought by customs.
All of the above requirements mean the whole ‘just in time’ nature of antiques transport in a no-deal scenario is likely to stop automatically.”
Marion Brown is a former Portobello dealer who now trades at fairs and online via a new website, gypsyheartantiques.com, and social media.
“I specialise in decorative items, jewellery and lighting, French in particular, selling a lot to the overseas trade. Much of the antique jewellery I sell is sourced here in the UK as the supply is so plentiful.
But I do source objects in France and I don’t see that changing with Brexit. We will find a way to carry on doing that.
Overall, I’ve been a dealer for 30 years and worked through four recessions. If you’re resourceful and can find great stock, you’ll always do well.”
“I’ve been a dealer for 30 years and worked through four recessions – if you’re resourceful and can find great stock, you’ll always do well