Guide to Shipping Documentation
As you know, all artists on Artfinder are responsible for the shipping and handling of their orders. This means you will need to research suitable courier options and prices for you to create the relevant shipping prices tables.
It also means you will need to complete all necessary shipping documentation, and we understand it is not always easy to know what to include, so we prepared the below FAQ to give you some pointers on how to best prepare for your shipments.
What documents will I need to ship my order?
Documents that will need to be included with every artwork you send are as below:
1. Shipping Labels - When you book a shipment with your preferred courier, they will generate shipping labels for you to print out and attach to the package and/or hand to the courier upon collection. The courier should provide you with any additional instructions on how to prepare your artworks for shipping and how many copies of the labels you will need.
2. Commercial invoice - A document designed to list the content, value and origin and destination of your parcel. For further information on Commercial Invoices, please see the question “What is a commercial invoice?“ below. Please note commercial invoices are not required for domestic shipments or shipments within the EU.
3. A packing slip - You will be able to download and print out a packing slip from your Artfinder order page and include this in the package which is for the customer's reference only.
4. A certificate of authenticity - You may need to include a certificate of authenticity in your package or ship it separately which will confirm that your artworks are original and one-of-a-kind. Please discuss this with the customer and agree on the preferable shipping method for your certificate.
5. Country-Specific documents needed for customs clearance, for your shipment to leave the country of origin.
What is a commercial invoice?
A commercial invoice is a shipping document designed to explain to customs officials what the contents of the package are and if an additional duty or tax needs to be levied. It is very important that these documents are 100% accurate as perjury on a legal document can come with a fine or, in some cases, a jail sentence.
Artfinder does not supply templates for these, but we offer some guidance on how to complete such document, on our Knowledge Base article here: How do I write a Commercial Invoice?.
Typically, couriers will have templates available for you to use, so we also invite you to check your preferred courier’s website for any specific requirements.
It is important to remember that following Brexit, all EU to UK and UK to EU shipments will now require a commercial invoice. You will see more advice on how to best prepare for this on the following article: What should I do to comply with Brexit regulations?.
You will need to print out three copies of the commercial invoice (the number of copies can differ depending on the courier) and attach them to the package and/or hand them to the courier upon collection.
Please note that for shipping between the EU and non-EU countries, an EORI number will need to be obtained and added to commercial invoices for border control and customs clearance. You can find out more about EORI in our Knowledge Base articles here and here.
What is a certificate of origin?
A certificate of origin is a document or mention on a commercial invoice of where a given item was made. For example, if you are based in the UK and are shipping an artwork to the EU, you will need to indicate if the artwork was made in the UK or another country.
Following Brexit, for UK to EU and EU to UK shipments, a proof of origin statement must be included on the Commercial or Pro-Forma Invoice stating that the goods originate from the UK or the EU:
- UK-EU shipments: the origin statement on the invoice can be made out by any exporter who has a GB EORI number. The GB EORI number must be included within the origin statement regardless of the value of the shipment. Check with your courier if you do not have GB EORI.
- For EU-UK shipments: the origin statement on the invoice can be made out by any exporter where the value of the consignment is 6,000 EUR (currently £5,700) or less. Above this amount the EU exporter must have a Registered Exporter (REX) number and include it in the statement.
Are there other documents I need to ship my order?
There may be other documents required for your shipment depending on your location and the location of your customer. These would be country or courier specific and at this stage so we advise you to research any necessary documents needed for customs clearance for your shipments to leave the country, as this would vary based on your country's regulations.
Artwork value and size may also impact the level of documentation needed for your shipment. It is therefore important that you check this directly with your chosen courier prior to shipping anything, as lack of suitable documents may cause delays for your shipments, additional charges for you or your customer, and possible returns to sender.
Do you have any questions regarding your shipment? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly assist!