Fine Art Shipping

Art & design shipping dictionary

Learn everything about art shipping! In this article we try to demystify the world of logistics by giving you the necessary tools to understand the industry’s specific terminology: an art shipping dictionary by Convelio.

Rita Hamri

6 min

Art & design shipping dictionary - Art piece by Thomas Canto

A-Frame: Wooden travel frame used to transport artworks or design pieces at a lean if oversized.

Ad-valorem insurance: Insurance based on the item value of the artwork or design piece.

Air Freight: The carriage of artworks and design pieces by aircraft.

Airline Terminal Fee: An airline terminal fee is charged for all air shipments as a fee for handling the cargo. Depending on the airline, it may be included in the air freight fee or as a separate origin charge.

Assembly delivery: Assembly is the service of 'Delivery + Placing Furniture + Unpacking + Assembly' in the room of your choice of your artworks and design pieces.

Bill of lading: Document with collection and delivery locations, signed by releasing and receiving parties for proof of transport.

Bond: When artworks and design pieces are imported and payment of duty or import VAT is deferred, so long as the work does leave the bonded premises under which it is stored. This is often used with items in long-term storage.

Cavity Pack: Fitted foam sections into cardboard box or crate to fill empty space and support artwork or design piece.

Certificate of Insurance: Proof of insurance and worker’s compensation coverage for external companies to perform tasks on site. Typically required by large residential or commercial buildings in the US.

Commercial invoice is a legal document between the supplier and the customer that clearly describes' the sold goods, and the amount due on the customer.The commercial invoice is one of the main documents used by customs in determining customs duties.

Condition report: Document typically required for insurance to note any damage or status changes at collection or delivery. Commonly includes images, diagrams and written notes.

Curbside delivery: Shipper will bring the artworks and design pieces package to your address, pull the truck up to the front of your house, load the package(s) onto the liftgate on the back of the truck, lower the lift, and push the package(s) onto the sidewalk in front of your house.

Custom clearance: The documented permission to pass that a national customs authority grants to imported artworks and design pieces so that they can enter the country or to exported artworks and design pieces so that they can leave the country.

Customs Bonds: A contract used for guaranteeing that a specific obligation will be fulfilled between customs and an importer for any given import transaction for artworks and design pieces. Usually used to guarantee the payment of import duties and taxes.

Customs clearance agents: The person who performs the custom clearance for artworks and design pieces is referred to as custom clearance agent. They are also known as carrying or forward clearing agents.

Customs Exam: CBP (Customs Border Protection) selects shipments for examination based on a targeting system that applies a score to each shipment. A Customs exam is either an X-ray, Tail Gate, or Intensive exam.

Dedicated Van: A truck, van or related required equipment is booked for a customers exclusive use for artworks and design pieces.

EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification): An EORI (Economic Operator Registration and Identification) number is how the European Union (EU) identifies business entities. It is required of any party intending to import into the EU or export from the EU.

Estimated Time to Arrival (ETA): It is the timeframe taken from pick up to delivery of artworks and design pieces.

Export License: An export license is a type of U.S. export authorization document, most commonly issued by government agencies, that grants someone the right to conduct an export transaction.

Express Air freight: The carriage of artworks and design pieces by aircraft with shorter ETA.

Free Circulation: The free movement of artworks and design pieces within a territory without taxes nor duties e.g The European union free trade agreement.

Freight forwarder: A freight forwarder, forwarder, or forwarding agent, also known as a non-vessel operating common carrier, is a person or company that organizes shipments of artworks and design pieces for individuals or corporations to get goods from the manufacturer or producer to a market, customer or final point of distribution.

Front Door delivery: The shipper will bring the artworks and design pieces package to your address, pull the truck up to the front of your house, load the package(s) onto the liftgate on the back of the truck, lower the lift, and push the package(s) onto the sidewalk in front of your house.

Full risk insurance: Covers any and all damage acquired in transit "from wall to wall" of artworks and design pieces.

Incoterms: Incoterms are terms of sale that define who arranges for the payment and handling of the goods during shipping, from the moment the goods leave the seller’s door, up until their arrival at the buyer’s final destination.

IPPC stamp: IPPC mark on the wood packaging which needs to be applied to minimum two opposite sides and certifies that all solid wood met the heat treatment.

ISPM-15: An international phytosanitary measure developed by the international plant protection convention which is in charge of addressing issues related to treatment of wood of a thickness greater than 6mm used to ship artworks and design pieces across countries.

Limited insurance: Coverage only offered in cases of total loss, including theft, non-delivery or total damage of artworks and design pieces.

Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF): The Merchandise Processing Fee (MPF) is a fee assessed by U.S. Customs for most imports into the U.S. It is charged at 0.3464 % of the cargo value that was declared on the commercial invoice, with a minimum of $26.22 and a maximum of $508.70 per entry. (If the entry value is less than $2,500, MPF is a $2.10 flat rate.)

Oz-Clip: Permanent hardware that screws into the back of an artwork to secure it in a travel frame or crate.

Polyeutherine: Inexpensive plastic covering, non-abrasive and non-stick for wrapping framed and acrylic works. Not suitable for long term storage. Often referred to as “Poly”.

Power of attorney: Provides authorization for the customs broker to clear freight on behalf of the importer of record.

Rail Freight: The carriage of artworks and design pieces by train.

Road Freight: The carriage of artworks and design pieces by vehicle.

Sea Freight: The carriage of artworks and design pieces by sea containers.

Shadow Box or Collar: To protect delicate or wet surfaces, cardboard collar fits around the edges of an artwork creating space between the surface of the work and any other object. Plastic or cardboard faces are used to further protect.

Slat Crate: Wooden crate without walls only internal framing. Used for works with sensitive surfaces that cannot touch padding, or to save costs on wood for siding.

Soft Packing: General term for packing artworks or design pieces in materials including but not limited to; blankets, bubble, plastic, cardboard.

Temporary export: A customs procedure under which artworks and design pieces are in free circulation in a customs territory may be temporarily exported for manufacturing, processing or repair abroad and then reimported with total or partial exemption from import duties and taxes.

VAT (Value Added Tax) Number: A VAT number is required to import goods into the EU. The numbers are country specific, so if a company is importing or exporting to multiple EU countries, they will need a VAT number for each country.

White glove delivery: Carrier delivery for artworks and design pieces where the agents unload and place items in the room of your choice. White Glove service generally includes unpacking, removal/disposal of packing materials for artworks and design pieces.

Wood crating: A crate is a large shipping container, often made of wood, typically used to transport or store large, heavy items. The wood exterior provides full protection while the custom-cut immobilizes the artworks or design pieces to reduce the chance of breakage.

August 5, 2019

Rita Hamri