Frequently Asked Questions about the Artist's Resale Right

Which artists qualify?

Qualifying artists are nationals of an EEA (European Economic Area) country: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France (including Monaco), Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (not Channel Islands for VAT).

What is the definition of a work of art under these regulations?

Any work of graphic or plastic art such as a picture, a collage, a painting, a drawing, an engraving, a print, a lithograph, a sculpture, a tapestry, a ceramic, an item of glassware or a photograph. However, a copy of a work is not to be regarded as a work unless the copy is one of a limited number which have been made by the author or under the artist's authority. e.g., a series of numbered prints. In Christie's view, the definition of a work of art does not include furniture, jewellery and books.

Are any lots exempt?

The royalty does not apply to any lot with a value less than €1,000. In addition, where the seller has acquired the work directly from the artist less than 3 years before the resale and where the resale price does not exceed €10,000, ARR does not apply. Also, if the author is the seller, ARR does not apply.

Who has to pay this royalty?

For Christie's purposes, the seller and his agent (the auction house) are jointly and severally liable. Christie's will collect from the buyer an amount equal to the resale royalty and pass this to the relevant collecting agency. This will appear as a separate line item on the buyer's invoice and is described as Artists Resale Right.

What is meant by the 'sale price'?

This is considered to mean the price the work is advertised for. Therefore, it will be the ticket price in a gallery or the hammer price at an auction. Further, it is not linked to the estimate.

Why are the thresholds and amounts listed in Euros?

As this legislation is implementing a European Directive (2001/04), all calculations will have to be made in Euros. This means converting the hammer price and the thresholds into Euros using the "European Central Bank Reference Rate" prevailing at the contract date (date of the sale for Christie's purposes). The amount due is calculated in Euros and then converted back into sterling.

Can an artist waive their right?

An artist cannot waive their resale right. Nor can they agree to share or repay resale royalties, for example, to their dealer or a client of their dealer's.

How will royalties be collected?

Resale right will be managed by collecting societies; individual artists will not be able to request payments directly. This means that the seller/auction house will be required to pay all royalties to a collecting society who will then distribute them to the artists. Collecting societies will run systems whereby royalties can be paid at regular intervals; they will require only a few details about the sale, e.g., name of artist and the sale price achieved. Currently, in the UK the main collecting societies dealing with the administration of artists' rights are Design & Artists Copyright Society (DACS) and Artists Collecting Society (ACS).