Gibraltar expects to become a new European Union tax haven for the trade in art by scrapping import and export duties on works from July 1.
As the UK Overseas Territory already
operates a zero rate for capital gains tax, the government there
anticipates a major influx of artworks before long.
The policy announcement came in a
pre-Budget speech by Gibraltar's Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, to
the Thomson Reuters European Lawyers conference on June
"We think that, in addition to the
absence of capital gains taxes and other fiscal advantages that
make us the European jurisdiction of choice in so many areas, this
may help stimulate the use of Gibraltar for the acquisition and
sale of high value works of art," Mr Picardo told the
In order to qualify for the tax
breaks, artworks would have to be physically imported into
Gibraltar, where storage would be a matter for importers and
shipping companies in the private sector. Works could be
transported directly to the Rock by air or land.
"The measure designed to remove import
and export duties on art is one of the many budget measures being
taken by the Government to make Gibraltar a more attractive
destination for the purchase and sale of high-value art, as well as
potentially stimulating new business opportunities for the storage
and auctioning of such assets in Gibraltar," Mr Picardo told
"Gibraltar already boasts no capital
gains tax, no stamp duty and no VAT on goods or services; but is a
full member of the EU as an Overseas Territory of the UK within the
The full budget measure is that
'Import and export duties on all artwork, including paintings;
drawings and pastels; sculptures and other statuary; original
engravings, prints and lithographs; basketwork and wickerwork, is
reduced from 12% to zero (0%)'.
Although Gibraltar is an Overseas UK
Territory, it decides its own policy on import duties, which
remains solely the responsibility of the Government of
"With around £40 billion worth of
trading activity in the fine art and antiques trade each year, the
Government would like to open up business opportunities in
Gibraltar for the world's top dealers, auctioneers and collectors.
In this respect that Government is eager to listen to all
stakeholders in the sector on how best to help them to promote the
facilities offered in Gibraltar to the global marketplace, in
particular in seeking to stimulate facilities for the storage of
high value art on the Rock," said the Chief Minister.
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.