International agreements and treaties, protective laws for "cultural property," laws protecting intellectual property, and art valuation rules make for a tangle of complexities that some have described as a Gordian Knot. Many requirements are set forth in Customs laws and in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the US.
The Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) of the United States covers all forms of "Art" including collectors' pieces, antiques, gems, and jewelry in this commodity group. But countries do not always agree on the definition of "original works of art." Knowledge of special paperwork and handling requirements is essential. If Customs rules that the article is not an original you may pay duty based on the classification called non-Art – usually a higher duty. It is important to "know your seller."
Did you know that if you bring works of art in for exhibition and then later sell some of that art you might have misclassified that importation and could be fined and penalized later – up to five years later? With this kind of example, you can immediately assess the short and long term value of proper classification. Your Byrnes professional knows and assesses these situations to save you time, money, and reputation.