Regulating the global art logistics sector from facilities and equipment to data security

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Regulating the global art logistics sector from facilities and equipment to data security

HUDSON, OH.- In a step towards global regulation of art transportation, the International Convention of Exhibition and Fine Art Transporters (ICEFAT), an international association of 78 fine art transporters across 37 countries, is launching its Standards, a definitive set of directives for its members to ensure quality and consistency across its art shipping network. The Standards have been developed and audited by EY, a global leader in assurance, consulting and strategy.

As custodians of the world’s finest works of art while in transit, ICEFAT members are trusted by insurers, galleries, museums, collectors and institutions to care for and transport the world’s cultural treasures for the benefit of global audiences. Its members’ technical expertise and broad art world intelligence are sought out by academic establishments and commercial and private clients alike. Their adherence to ICEFAT’s Standards sets members apart and ensures the seamless shipment of high-value cultural objects.

Jonathan Schwartz, Chairman of the Steering Committee, says: “It was long a maxim that the member companies of ICEFAT represented the highest standards, so we took it upon ourselves to create a more robust certification that would include other metrics such as equipment, human resources, security and skillsets. Furthermore, we entered into an arrangement with Ernst & Young so that these Standards would be objectively ranked and reviewed, finally living up to ICEFAT's claim as the premier trade organization representing the best of the best, International Exhibition and Fine Art Transporters.”

Santiago Mendez, Chair of the ICEFAT Membership Committee, says: “One of ICEFAT’s primary objectives is to deliver value, confidence, and trust to all the art industry with our Standards. They should be the foremost guidelines to increase the level of professionalism and care in our industry, from museums to insurance brokers, and for former and future members. On behalf of the Members Committee, it’s important to say that these standards and audits are a failsafe way to give our organisation the transparency and seriousness required for the onboarding of new members. With the help and knowledge of EY, we will continue working on the audit program that will ensure all members are adhering to these rigorous standards. The importance of this program will have many benefits that we can’t even imagine at this point, and they will certainly be a touchstone for ICEFAT’s future and our industry.”

ICEFAT’s Standards cover all operational areas of art logistics across facilities and equipment, data security, staff and operations. Facilities & Equipment Standards include building layouts, inspections, maintenance, fire detection and disaster planning, Data Security Standards involve access control and backing up, Staff Standards broach HR, resourcing and training, and Operations Standards tackle risk management, packing materials, supply chain management and insurance.

Adherence to these Standards is a prerequisite of all ICEFAT Members, each of which is audited prior to acceptance into the association, and again every five years. Its peerless network operates collectively, providing solutions to complex international regulations, facilitating and delivering global art logistics, and in many instances, expediating their public display for the education and enjoyment of all.

Founded in 1977, ICEFAT is the art transport network of choice for the world’s leading museums, galleries, institutions and private collectors, bestowing confidence in its seamless international service and universal adherence to the highest industry standards. By working with an ICEFAT member, clients are informed and able to exploit the expertise of the wider global community. This provides them with reassurance that the complexities of international fine art logistics are taken care of, and this is reinforced by the requirement of some insurers to only work with ICEFAT members.

Membership of ICEFAT provides prestige to an art logistics business, validating their business through the robust membership standards and EY audits. Members feel a sense of pride and trust in the collective expertise of the international ICEFAT community and this collaborative approach supports members’ commercial growth.

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