top of page

Shipping Artwork out of the UK

How to ship/export sold artwork from the UK

To make it easier for you to ship artworks abroad I have produced this brief guide.

To send an artwork to another country it is ideal if you know the customs Trade Tariff code, otherwise known as Commodity Codes, Taric Codes, HS Codes, Harmonization Number. If the country you are shipping to has a duty free rate for artworks it is imperative you quote the correct Tariff otherwise your collector may pay unnecessary fees.

If you are looking for a comprehensive directive, it can be found at Exporting Art – Guidelines

This guide is intended for UK residents as other countries may have extra requirements.

Works of art

Artworks rated duty free. Taxes may also be reduced or 0%

9701 Paintings, drawings and pastels, executed entirely by hand, other than drawings of heading 4906 and other than hand-painted or hand-decorated manufactured articles; collages and similar decorative plaques

9702 Original engravings, prints and lithographs

9703 Original sculptures and statuary, in any material

Prints and photographs 4901

49 Printed books, newspapers, pictures and other products of the printing industry; manuscripts, typescripts and plans 11 Other printed matter, including printed pictures and photographs.

EORI number

You will need an EORI number to export goods from the UK to any other country including those in the EU. Apply for your EORI number in advance. It can take up to a week to get one. If you do not have one, you may have increased costs and delays.

Export documentation – Postal Service

If posting a small package with Royal Mail you will need to fill in a customs declaration CN22/23. This is only used by the mail system, not couriers, in place of a commercial invoice.

CN22 Must be used if your goods are up to the value of £270

CN23 If the value of your goods being transported have a value of over £270, then a CN23 is needed instead of a CN22 The sender of the artwork is legally responsible for the customs declaration and the sender of the package must sign it. As the CN22/23 customs declaration needs to be inspected for processing, it should be attached to the outside of the parcel in a protective sleeve as to avoid any damage. Failure to do so will only result in your package being inspected, held, delayed or seized.


Couriers will usually provide you with the information you need to export works of art, namely an invoice and to avoid duty in certain countries, a works of art declaration.

The paperwork is available to download below.

Download PDF • 44KB

Download PDF • 487KB

Download PDF • 146KB

Download PDF • 698KB

CN23 Instructions
Download PDF • 1.08MB

Downloads of pdf may not work on mobiles.

bottom of page