High standards for fine art transport

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The International Convention of Exhibition and Fine Art Transporters (ICEFAT) is launching a set of standards to ensure quality and consistency across its shipping network. , The standards have been developed and audited by assurance, consulting and strategy firm, Ernst & Young.

Members of ICEFAT, an international association of 78 fine art transporters across 37 countries are trusted by insurers, galleries, museums, collectors and institutions to care for and transport the world’s cultural treasures.

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

Adherence to the standards is a prerequisite for all ICEFAT Members, each of which is audited prior to acceptance into the association, and again every five years.

Chairman of the steering committee, Jonathan Schwartz, said: “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.”

Chair of the ICEFAT membership committee, Santiago Mendez, added: “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. 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.”

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