It is doubtless one of the most severe handicaps in walking(step) of the French art. The tax in the import, or how get rid of it.

VAT, a delicate case. It is Jean-Jacques Aillagon, from his appointment(naming) to the Ministry of Culture and Communication, who boosted(relaunched) the debate. During his(its) first press conference, on July 4th, 2002, he(it) let know that he intended(heard) to open several construction sites(works) relative to the market of the art, of which that of the VAT in the import. One week later, on the occasion of the first agreement(convention) of the national Labor union(Syndicate) of the houses of voluntary sales ( SYMEV), he declared: ” The VAT in the import can discourage the location(localization) in Europe of important sales and assures(insures) only low(weak) recipes(receipts) the state budget “; who(which) are estimated at 6,09 million euros. The diet(regime) of VAT applicable to the oeuvres of art results from the community directive of February 14th, 1994, transcribed in the national right(law) on December 29th of the same year. The directive rests(bases) on a general principle: the sales of the properties(goods) aimed at(bound for) country which are not a part of the European Union are exempted, because the exports are carriers of growth and jobs(uses). On the other hand, the imports, whatever is the quality of the person which makes them, are taxed, to dissuade purchases except(off) European Union. But, in artistic and cultural material(subject), we know that the exports impoverish the heritage(holdings). Furthermore, the taxation in the import represents a handicap for the market of the art in a context of competition(competitors) between the international places(squares) (the VAT in the import does not exist either in the United States, or in Japan). She(it) establishes(constitutes) an obstacle on the return to the oeuvres of art in foreign hands. For these motives, during the negotiation, the Committee(Commission) had suggested in December, 1988 taxing the export of the oeuvres of art and exempting the import from it. Curiously, the majority of Member states, including France but with the exception of the United Kingdom, had opposed this inversion of the principles of taxation. Indeed, concerning the contemporary creation, the Committee of art galleries had pointed out that this inversion would lead(drive) to exempt the import by an art gallery of the work of an American artist, whereas the purchase that it would make with a working artist in France would be taxed. Two measures of softening(limbering up) were nevertheless planned. The import of the oeuvres of art, items of collection and antiquity(antique), such as define by the article 98 – has of the appendix 3 of the general Code of the taxes, is imposed on the reduced rate of 5,5 %. Furthermore, the properties imported temporarily to be exposed benefit from a suspensive diet. Accordingly, in the case of an auction public, works of art are admitted in exemption from rights, and are not considered imported as long as the sale did not take place, provided that it intervenes within two years. During the adoption of the directive, the Commission had made a commitment to examine the incidence of the VAT on the competitiveness of the community market of art. His report, put back in April, 1999, notices that among four Member states which answered the questionnaire (Germany, Greece, Sweden, The United Kingdom), only the United Kingdom emits reserves. Actually, in spite of an exceptional rate of 2,5 % .Current till the end of July, 1999, we observe a decrease of the imports of oeuvres of art in the United Kingdom after the introduction of the VAT. The report(relationship) highlights besides the multiplication(increase) by thirteen, between 1995 and 1998, cases of use of the temporary import, in contact with the development of the activity of the houses of auctions. The Committee(Commission) concluded that from it ” the adoption of the directive had no determining incidence on the community market of the art and that from it any legislative proposal on the subject is superfluous “. This analysis is not shared by the half-dozen of public relations dedicated to the market of the art in France these last years. One of the latest ones (in October, 2001) emanates from the General Inspectorate of the Finances and was drafted under the direction of Guillaume Cerutti, cabinet director of Minister of Culture. The authors of the report(relationship) consider besides that ” the community mechanics is too heavy, the Committee(Commission) too hostile to a modification of the current texts and the majority of the countries of the Union too little motivated by the subject to hope for a step backward “. To note that this report(relationship) recommends new softenings(limberings up), on the occasion of the procedure of revision of the list of the properties(goods) subjected(submitted) to the reduced rate of VAT Which could be implemented in 2004. This reduced rate could be then spread to the works and the works of art which do not benefit from it this day, for example manuscripts, jewels or furniture of less than hundred years of age. As is known, the president of the Republic and the government already made a commitment in favour of a similar measure for the record and the restoration