Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sukonik Fine Art Inc. 
Profile and Discussion     
Philadelphia PA   

  Arts professional Patricia Sukonik, director and president of Sukonik Fine Art Inc. is an art historian and lawyer.  A skilled educator, and business person, she has been advising new and established, private and corporate, artists and art collectors for more than 30 years.  Advisor services range from artists rights and copyright matters, to authentication, curatorial purchase, exhibition, maintenance of collections, and public speaking.  Topics focus on fine art and cultural property, and their relationship to world history and economy.

 Art World USA : Shipping and Screening

    Deliveries of air cargo may be subject to new inspections and buyers and sellers may required to comply with increased notice requirements about the contents of shipments on cargo flights bound for the U.S.  New and tighter regulations are being considered which are expected to bolster our security systems. 

    Screening requirements in operation today, put into effect August 1, 2010, require that all items shipped as cargo on passenger airplanes must be screened.  Current notice requirement is four hours before the flight is scheduled to leave.  As a result of these requirements, many large museums and art shippers have realized concerns for securing the art they ship.  They are anticipating the possibility that airline employees might open carefully packaged crates and search them without understanding the nature of fragile paper, art objects and other artworks.  Previously safe packaging may not secure the artwork’s arriving in the conditions shipped. 

    Transactions involving anonymous parties, such as the situation in which an owner of an artwork wants to remain unknown and his dealer finds an overseas buyer, are difficult and will become more difficult.  Shipments from anonymous third parties are subject to special handling and potential delays.  Therefore, handling such transactions involve added cost and time.

    In consideration of inspection requirements art shippers using air carriers, or other U.S. common carriers involved in importing goods into the U.S. including ocean vessels, railroads and trucks are offered enrollment in a federal shipping program that allows them to create and work with separate screening facilities.  The program is a voluntary business initiative with stringent security verification guidelines.  Useful  for larger museums, which typically plan exhibitions years in advance and have sufficient time to avoid shipping via passenger planes, the program is costly for small museums, galleries and private dealers.  In such situations smaller shippers will likely rely on art-shipping companies that are certified screeners, having themselves enrolled in the federal shipping program.  Such an alternative will be less expensive.

    The US shipping program initiative requires art packers who enroll to be responsible for certified inspection, crating, and a mark identifying the shipment as artwork with special seals, locks and tape – all to minimize the chances of the artwork being re-screened.  Benefits include reduced border delay times and priority processing for customs and border protection.  Assuredly with these more stringent requirements art will ship with more safety and will arrive at its destination with more guarantee of conditions.  Our treasures ensured to meet us in the same as when they left theie shipper.
Patricia Sukonik