“On a recent item, the cost of bringing it back would be more than what I would pay for it. The process it is not economical for lower-priced objects – these are the ones being hit. If antiques could be imported free of tax, as in the US, it would reduce admin and give the UK a competitive advantage.”
Simon Franses, S Franses
“We have seen a drop in European buyers due to the cost of import VAT. Yes, we can offer a discount to cover this, but discounts have a limit and we can’t always cover the import VAT cost and shipping costs for buyers. We are thankfully seeing an increase in US buyers but buying and selling to Europe is a huge task considering the paperwork and the need for CITES certificates for some items with the extra costs and time it takes.”
Julia Boston, Julia Boston Antiques
“One of dealers’ key concerns over Brexit is that while traditionally the London and UK art trade and its clients have benefited from employing the best talent available in a particular field, Brexit has severely curtailed both the feasibility and allure of London and the UK as somewhere to work. Equally, it is now very difficult for UK nationals to get valuable working experience and knowledge from working at galleries in Europe.”
Paul Hewitt, director of the Society of London Art Dealers
Red tape reprieve
“For goods imported into the UK from the EU/EEA, the normal requirement for a customs declaration to be made in advance of import (known as an ‘entry summary declaration’ or ENS, concerning the safety and security of goods) does not currently apply, but was due to do so after June 30, 2022.
“However, the Government has recently changed its mind and now says that it will no longer be introduced on that date and that it will publish a Target Operating Model in the autumn of 2022 with the aim of having the end of 2023 as the revised introduction date for its controls regime for goods coming from the EU.
“The Government has previously said that its delays in implementation are in recognition of the major problems experienced by business as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many shippers already make these declarations in advance because they have always had to do so for goods shipped from outside the EU. However, it now appears that those who have not been making these advance declarations will have to start doing so from the end of 2023, not from July 1, 2022.”
Mark Dodgson, secretary general BADA