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bringing paintings to an exhibition 2014/6/21 16:47
Hello dear Japan-Guide!

I'll bring along next month a couple of paintings of mine to a little exhibition in Tokyo. Will I have problems at Customs while entering/leaving?

The Japanese consulate at my city (Berlin) couldn't give me a proper answer.

Thanks in advance!
by neidisch  

Re: bringing paintings to an exhibition 2014/6/22 18:49
What do you intend to do with the paintings?
If you are just going to have them displayed at the exhibition (and take them back with you), it should be no problem whatsoever at all.
If you intend to sell them while at the exhibition, that might be considered "import" and doing business, so it can complicate things.

I don't know if you are an artist by profession, but if you are, and if the paintings are of the size that you can transport them as carry-on (nothing huge and conspicuous is what I mean), and if asked you answer that those are sample work of yours to be shown to the gallery and to be taken back, that should be fine. Or say that they are gifts for friends.

I am no lawyer, but the above is my best estimate based on what I've heard from an immigration lawyer on imports/business activities some time ago concerning a slightly different situation.
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: bringing paintings to an exhibition 2014/6/22 21:07
It's normally there are no troubles.
However some visitors hide drugs behind painting frames often, so that you may ask to check the frame or painting itself for drugs or illegal products checking.
by tokyo friend 48 rate this post as useful

Re: bringing paintings to an exhibition 2014/6/23 15:17
Thanks a lot! Domo arigatou!

Yeah, they're my paintings and they'll be exhibited at a small gallery. I'm artist by profession, so yeah, they're mine.

They're actually two pieces, one to be checked in and one small enough to take as carry on luggage.

The gallery may eventually sell them. In that regard, a German lawyer told me that it's way easier to bring them back and ship them from Germany, instead of leaving them in Japan.


by neidisch rate this post as useful

Re: bringing paintings to an exhibition 2014/6/25 11:00
I don't know the value/price range, if the value is very high that might be an issue at customs. You might want to look into how much shipping might cost if you try to ship them later.

One way to do it rather properly is IF the gallery placed an order for the painting through your website when you were in Germany, and IF the gallery has already paid you for the painting, you might just be bringing it into Japan with you because you were visiting Japan anyway. For this, you need to show the proof of the payment/purchase at customs if asked.
by AK rate this post as useful

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