The following information is intended to be used as a guide only. In all cases the relevant tax legislation takes precedence.

 

The VAT rates and the export license thresholds mentioned below will correspond to the rates and thresholds in effect on the day of the auction.  Please note that, for VAT purposes only, lots will be sold as if they were the property of Beares Auctions; Beares Auctions should not be considered as an agent for the sale of the lots.

 
 

Items with no VAT symbol.
No VAT symbol indicates that the item is subject to the Auctioneers’ Margin Scheme, so VAT will not be charged on the hammer price. Instead, an amount in lieu of VAT (currently 20%) will be charged on the buyer’s premium only. This amount will not be itemised separately in our invoice but will instead be included in the total buyer’s premium figure.

Items with a ✝ symbol.
The ✝ symbol indicates that the item is subject to VAT at the standard rate (currently 20%) both on the hammer price and on the buyer’s premium.

Items with a Ω symbol.
The Ω symbol indicates a non-antique item (up to 100 years old) which has been imported from outside the European Union (EU) and is being sold under Temporary Admission. VAT will be charged at the standard rate (currently 20%) both on the hammer price and on the buyer’s premium.

Items with a ‡ symbol.
The ‡ symbol indicates an antique item (over 100 years old) which has been imported from outside the European Union (EU) and is being sold under Temporary Admission. VAT will be charged at a reduced rate (currently 5%) on the hammer price and at the standard rate (currently 20%) on the buyer’s premium.

Under certain circumstances the (a) amount in lieu of VAT charged on the hammer price; or (b) the VAT on the hammer price, may be cancelled or refunded. See VAT refunds below for details.

VAT Symbols

 

Items with no VAT symbol
Beares Auctions might be able to refund to the buyer the amount in lieu of VAT charged on the hammer price, provided ALL the following conditions are satisfied:

  • the buyer resides outside the United Kingdom;
  • the purchased item is exported outside the EU within 3 months of purchase; and
  • the buyer supplies Beares Auctions with full proof of export.

Items with a ✝ symbol
Beares Auctions might be able to refund the VAT applied to the hammer price under the following circumstances:

  • if the buyer resides outside the EU and has exported the purchased item within 3 months from purchase; or
  • if the buyer is VAT registered outside the UK but within the EU and has exported the purchased item within 3 months of purchase (in this case Beares Auctions will require an exchange of VAT numbers with the buyer).

In both cases the buyer must provide Beares Auctions with full proof of export. Normally this is possible only for items that are shipped.

Items with the Ω or a ‡ symbol
If the buyer resides outside the EU, Beares Auctions might be able to refund the VAT applied to the hammer price under the following circumstances:

  • if the buyer requests Beares Auctions to arrange for the shipment of the purchased item to a country outside the EU, such shipment must take place within 30 days of purchase; or
  • if the buyer requests Beares Auctions to arrange the UK customs documentation necessary to hand carry the purchased item to a country outside the EU within 30 days of purchase and the buyer ensures that the UK customs documentation is stamped by UK customs and returned to Beares Auctions; or
  • if the buyer arranges for the purchased item to be transferred to the buyer’s Temporary Admission or Customs Warehouse within 30 days of purchase.

In all cases the Buyer must contact Beares Auctions prior to shipment/collection/transfer of the purchased item so that Beares Auctions may make the necessary arrangements and prepare the relevant documentation.

VAT Refunds

 

Shipping

It is the responsibility of the buyer to arrange shipment of their purchased lot. Beares Auctions does not provide a shipping and packing service. Beares Auctions can recommend the following shipping and customs agents:


Where applicable, it is the responsibility of the buyer to arrange for the export of a purchased lot out of the UK and its import into another country. This includes obtaining any export or import licences that may be required, as well as any documentation for endangered species, if relevant.

UK Export Licence
Instruments and bows require an export licence if they are at least 50 years old, they have not been imported under Temporary Admission and they are either:

  • exported to a EU country and valued at least £65,000; or
  • exported to a non-EU country and valued at least £39,290.

Upon request, under certain circumstances Beares Auctions may apply for an export licence on behalf of the buyer and under his/her responsibility. For more information please contact Niyu Lin by telephone on +44 (0)20 7307 9650 or email [email protected].

CITES Permit
The import, export and use for commercial gain of materials derived from certain species require a permit from CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). These materials include, but are not limited to, ivory, tortoiseshell and whalebone. It is recommended that the buyer enquire with the UK government as well as the government of the importing country about possible restrictions. For more information, please visit www.gov.uk/cites-imports-and-exports

Exports