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Artist's Resale Right LAPADA Strikes Back - ArtLyst Article image

Artist's Resale Right LAPADA Strikes Back

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"Damage to Small Businesses from the Artist's Resale Right" dealer Niall Fairhead puts pen to paper

Sarah Percy-Davis, Chief executive at LAPADA has sent a round robin email directed to members, announcing an official petition in protest to the Artists Resale Right (Droit de Suite) which came into law on 1 January 2012

Dear Member

One of the most contentious issues affecting our trade and a good number of our Members, is Artists Resale Right ( Droit de Suite).  The Art Dealers amongst you will be aware that our worst fears have now been realised and as from 1st January 2012, this resale tax now applies also to dead artists up to 70 years after their death. The bitter battle to oppose this tax which is likely to be so damaging to the UK art trade has been fought long and hard and is not over yet.

It is important that the views of dealers themselves are heard, and not just through the trade associations, individual voices are also powerful – and the more of these that can be heard, the better.For this reason, Niall Fairhead of Fairhead Fine Art has launched an on-line Petitition, and we urge all our Members to sign it.  Mr Fairhead says .....

‘Living artists embarking on their careers and wanting to promote their art can usually only do so with the help of experienced art dealers. These dealers can also help manage deceased artists’ estates by offering storage, conservation, cataloguing, research and restoration services. Artists need a trade that is based upon dealers and galleries who are strong, efficient, professional and financially-solvent. The full implementation of the Right will hinder this by considerably reducing dealers’ margins and by increasing fourfold the bureaucracy they deal with.  At a time when running a small business is becoming increasingly costly, the cumulative effect of 4% ARR on purchases plus 4% on sales will make it difficult for small art dealers to meet their overheads.’

The Petition calls upon the Government to:

(a) recognise this impact on small businesses by increasing from €1,000 to €3,000 the threshold above which the Right is collected in the UK, as allowed under the European Artist’s Resale Right Directive; and

(b) exert pressure on the European Commission to change the Directive so that it is less damaging to the art market, particularly the market in works by deceased artists.

Please visit the link below to view the Petition and other information on how to oppose this tax.


NB. there is an invitation at the end of the petition to donate to the petition hosting site – iPetitions, this is of course entirely voluntary and there is absolutely no obligation to donate to this site, which is entirely separate from the originator of the petition and from LAPADA.

If you were unable to attend our recent seminar on the subject and you would like to receive our Guidance notes, please let us know and we will send you a copy.

Thank you for your support,

Sarah Percy-Davis
Chief Executive
LAPADA The Association of Art & Antiques Dealers

In case you took your eye off the ball, while everyone was popping their Champagne or Prosecco corks at midnight 2012, the EU Droit de Suite Artist's Resale rights came into effect, here in Britain. This is perhaps the most detrimental law, ever to be passed, since the UK was art market leader, back in the 1960's -1970's. At the beginning of 2011, the UK was the number two secondary market for Modern and Contemporary art, after the United States. It has since slipped into third place after China. British dealers and auction houses will now lose works of art to rival markets in New York, Geneva, Moscow and Hong Kong or wherever the European sales levy, known as Droit de suite is not implemented.
The Resale tax allows heirs of artists who died in the past 70 years to get a share in the resale of works of art. Under the legislation, art dealers and auctioneers will have to pay the heirs, or estates up to four per cent of the sale price of artworks over €1,000 (£840). Each time you bid on a lot covered by the ARR, you agree to pay an amount equal to the resale royalty, "if you are the successful bidder. This amount will be added to your invoice",Our Conditions of Sale have been amended accordingly"; Christie's have stated. The maximum amount payable is a hefty €12,500 on each lot purchased.

Since its inception in 1974, LAPADA's membership has grown to over 600 members making it the largest association of professional art and antiques dealers in the United Kingdom. Although the majority of its membership is UK based, LAPADA also currently has 50 members in 16 other countries. Membership is only open to those who meet the Association's requirements as to experience, quality of stock and knowledge of their subject. Between them, members cover virtually every discipline from antiquities to contemporary fine art. In addition to the protection afforded by the Code of Practice, all art and antiques dealers (unlike auctioneers whose Conditions of Sale protect them) must comply with consumer protection laws. The LAPADA Code of Practice also ensures that all items for sale in a member's shop or at a fair must be clearly and correctly labelled including the price: LAPADA members are not permitted to use confusing codes. LAPADA was the first antiques trade association to introduce a Code of Practice, the purpose of which is to reassure the public and give them confidence when they make a purchase from a member. All members have agreed to abide by this strict Code of Practice and in the unlikely event of a dispute, the Association's free Conciliation Service.

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