The transport of works of art and stage décor is a particular risk phase for the objects. To avoid damages or keep them to a minimum, the packaging has to be planned extremely well - especially when the transport is self-organized or if non-specialized shipping and courier services are commissioned.
Specialized shipping companies (see Shipping companies and courier services) offer comprehensive packaging solutions. Certified companies comply with European standards presented by the European Committee for Standardization: The standards for ‘Conservation of cultural heritage – Packing and transport’ (CEN/TC C 346 WG 5 – EN: 15 946/2011) are relevant. Furthermore, individual EU Member States have their own norms and standards, such as the Austrian ÖNORM 1000 from 1999 for ‘Transportation services – Requirements for fine arts removals’. It includes standards for each phase of transport down to choosing the right gloves.
Before planning the packaging, it is advisable to obtain information about the destination: Who will receive the goods at the destination; how will they be stored; who will package them before the return transport?
Clearly legible information about the items it contains should be attached to each package: sender, destination, a description and photograph of the object, and, if applicable, any necessary precautions.
When transporting goods beyond the EU border, it must be taken into account that sometimes the customs staff will want to inspect them. The goods should be packaged accordingly.
Valuable objects can be shipped in shock-proof, self-built wooden crates; quite often, strong cardboard is also sufficient. Possible temperature and pressure differences during transport should be taken into account.
In addition to security-related issues pertaining to the goods, it is important to ensure that the packaging - and the goods themselves - meets the import regulations of the destination country. Untreated wood, for example, may not be imported into the United States or Australia.
Information about the import regulations of the destination country can be obtained from the foreign customs authorities with the help of the cooperation partner abroad and are contained in the import and customs regulations provided by DHL (German language only!). Chambers of commerce (IHK) also provide information.
Information about German import regulations is available from the Customs Information and Knowledge Management Office of the customs administration.