Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, galleries and art dealers are witnessing many cancellations of art fairs. As a result, they set up digital platforms to sell artworks. The regulations that apply to online sales are not the same as the regulations for sales that take place within the retail space, especially if it concerns a consumer purchase. What do you have to pay attention to as an online art dealer or art gallery?
Web shops must adhere to the Dutch Distance Selling Act when selling to a consumer. Under the Dutch Distance Selling Act, you, as an art dealer or art gallery, are obliged to inform the consumer about, among other things, the main characteristics of the artwork, the name and address of your company, the total price of the artwork and how and when the artwork will be delivered. In addition, you must inform the consumer about the cooling-off period. In principle, the consumer is given a cooling-off period of 14 days during which he/she can cancel the purchase. The consumer is not obliged to indicate a reason when returning the artwork within the cooling-off period of 14 days. If the aforementioned information obligations are not met, the consumer can require performance of the information obligations. Furthermore, under certain conditions the consumer can claim for compensation or cancel the agreement.
The Dutch Distance Selling Act does not apply if you, as a private individual, sell an artwork online or when you as a professional art dealer or gallery purchase an artwork online from a company.
Lastly, please note that that the VAT rules for the e-commerce sector are expected to change significantly in 2021. Under the new e-commerce rules, among other things, delivery of goods to consumers being transported from one EU country to another will be subject to VAT in the Member State of destination.
If you have any questions about this article, please contact Irma Uwe-Ntukabumwe.