Fears over Brexit fuel art exports to EU

The value of art, collectors' pieces and antiques exported from the UK rose to a three year high of £5.4bn in 2018, up from £5.1bn in 2017.

Specialist arts lawyers Boodle Hatfield say the rise in UK exports of art and antiques has been boosted by demand from Silicon Valley's tech entrepreneurs.

But they add that the rise in art exports from the UK to the rest of the EU up from £150 million in 2017 to £240 million in 2018 reflects concerns about Brexit as dealers and galleries move some of their assets into the EU.

There are concerns that Brexit may see additional customs duties, other administrative costs and shipping delays between the UK and the EU. UK companies will potentially be subject to rising import VAT rates and new licencing requirements imposed after Brexit, potentially making it more difficult to move pieces of art between the UK and countries within the EU.

Fred Clark, from the arts team at Boodle Hatfield says: “If fears of increased costs and bureaucracy materialise post-Brexit, the UK risks having its lead as the preeminent European art market eroded.

He added, “The strong trade relationship between the US and UK should help defend that position, as dealers and galleries in New York and London work very closely together. But it is a concern that many dealers and galleries are unwilling to take the gamble on a smooth Brexit and have begun moving their assets out of the UK.”



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