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Fine Art/Importing fine art from France to the USA

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Question
Hi Dan,
I'm interested in importing some old paintings belonging to my parents who live in France and sell them here in the USA.  The 15 paintings they own have been appraised for insurance at around $100,000 and do not have frames. As silly as it sounds, with something of this high value can I bring them with me back on a flight returning from Europe? I remember in the past the customs declaration card has a limit of $1,500 or so and am concerned if I have to pay heavy customs tariff's.  If there are customs taxes roughly what would I be looking at?  Also with your vast knowledge any other recommendations for importing them would be greatly appreciated.  FYI  I am a dual citizen (American - French)
    Kindest Regards,
        Tom

Answer
I am accustom to shipping art outside the USA on a regular basis and of course each country has it's own methods.
While this is not an endorsement, I use FEDEX for the most part. The art needs to be properly packaged and insured.
If you want to take with you on a plane, you are subject to a quick decision on the airlines part to ask you to have them stored with baggage. Weird rules these days, you never know what they will say. I am overprotective of things like art etc. and would probably opt to take them on the plane with me and keep a close eye on them. Have you contacted the airline to discuss this?  They can discuss your having to declare them etc. I've seen this type of thing turn into quite a fiasco, so the more homework you do on this the better off you will be when arriving with the works.
Have you looked into what the duties or fees are to import these? I assume your route will be direct flight, but I've heard stories of people running into problems as they travel through varius countries to get to a destination.

let me know what work you have done so far.

Dan

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Dan Twyman

Expertise

I can answer questions about Salvador Dali. While I cannot do FREE APPRAISALS, I might be able to help you sell your works. I can also help with Chagall, Miro, Picasso and other 20th Century Masters.

Questions about a type of art or medium can be answered with one response in most cases. Technical issues are easier to deal with than specifics about an artist. If you need help finding values or history on an artist, it will probably involve research that can sometimes take hours to complete. If you have more than one image to send, I will give you an alternate email address as this system cannot handle multiple images.

Experience

Late 70's early 80's Worked for a printer and learned the art or Lithography. Early to mid 80's Managed a publishing company that produced fine art both living and reproductions of the masters. Mid 80's to 2003 Senior Art Consultant with well known broker of Dali, Picasso, Miro, Chagall,Vargas,Max,Warhol and others. 2004 - 2005 Independent Art Consultant. 2005-2006 Beverly Hills Art Gallery(Living Artists) 2006 - Present Salvador Dali Society. Senior Art Consultant.

Organizations
http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/dan-twyman.html

Publications
http://www.artbydan.com Various online art publications.

Education/Credentials
Studied Art History, Methods of printing, Various Mediums. Studied anatomy, sketch art, Complex shading technique, Acrylic technique. Bloch books(Picasso),Salvador Dali publications(extensive). 30 Years life Experience in the arts as an artist, fine art broker,Gallery Director,art consultant.

Awards and Honors
Over 100 awards. Set records in the Art Brokering business.

Past/Present Clients
Major Film Celebs/U.S. Ambassador/ Fortune 500 Company CEO's and high level employees. Over 300 repeat clients in Fine Art. Beverly Hills local and visiting repeat clients.

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