Mastering All the Nuances of Shipping Art Internationally

Mastering All the Nuances of Shipping Art Internationally

If you pursue a professional career as an artist and sell your works to a variety of clients, you should be ready to cater to the international clientele as the number of your fans grows. Thus, sooner or later, you are sure to come across the need to send your artwork to another country. Yet, shipping art internationally is different from a hassle-free local delivery. Read on to learn all the nuances of international shipping and master this art like a pro.

What does shipping art internationally entail?

While sending an art item within your country may only require a couple of arrangements and a secure art shipping service that will handle your masterpieces safely, international shipments are more demanding in terms of preparation. You need to organize some accompanying documents so your item can cross the state borders without a problem.

Customs documents

The package of customs documents you should get ready before your artwork’s departure is as follows:

  • A properly and fully filled customs declaration with a precise statement of the art object’s market value.
  • Any applicable import and export licenses (for objects of unique cultural heritage).
  • A commercial invoice with all the details of your deal with the buyer.
  • A document verifying the coverage of all applicable tariffs and duties for the import or export of artwork.


Don’t underestimate the importance of insurance, as this aspect of international shipping is very important for you and the buyer. If the art object is comprehensively insured, you will both enjoy peace of mind in the process of shipment, knowing that your property and financial interests are protected. Besides, an international insurance plan will guarantee a transparent process of damage compensation.

Other things to consider

When shipping art internationally, you need to ensure its integrity throughout the process of transfer. This is best done with the help of sturdy boxes and wooden crates that will add protection and minimize the risk of damage. Besides, you need to cover the artwork with acid-free, non-adhesive materials like glassine paper or archival tissue paper, thus ensuring proper surface protection.

Keep in close contact with the buyer and find out all the legal and customs details of their location so that the shipping procedure goes smoothly for both of you. Label your crate as “fragile” and place a “handle with care” tag to guarantee its delicate management at all stages of transit.