The Artist’s Resale Right, or droit de suite, entitles artists to a royalty payment every time a work of art is re-sold by an art market professional for a price which reaches or exceeds €1,000 or the sterling equivalent in the UK (this threshold changes throughout Europe, e.g. it is €3,000 in Ireland).
ARR was recently adopted in Australia. It does not exist in the far east, Canada or the USA with the exception of the state of California, although discussions regarding its introduction in some of these areas is ongoing. Please contact us if you have any questions.
You can register with ACS online here. All you need to do is sign an ACS mandate and complete our registration form with your contact details. For more details, you can call us on +44 (0) 345 11 22 400 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No. ACS does not make any charge to artists who wish to mandate us to collect ARR royalties on their behalf.
ACS is a not-for-profit company and eighty-five percent of each royalty is paid directly to the artist at the end of the month in which we recieve payment from the seller. We deduct fifteen percent of the royalty to cover our administration costs.
Any work of art by an artist who is a national of a country within the EU when it is resold, for over €1,000 (in the UK). The UK Regulations list eligible works as a “picture, collage, painting, sculpture, tapestry, ceramic, glassware, photograph”. The work must be in copyright. Limited editions of prints or multiple works authored by the artist may also qualify. Please contact us for more information.
Sales which are not eligible for ARR include:
- Primary sales
- Private sales
- Sales of works of art by artists of non-qualifying nationalities e.g. American artists
- Sales which qualify for the ‘bought as stock’ exception (see Glossary below).
In the case of joint works, the ARR is divided according to the division of the work in question. If, for example, there were two creators who owned the work in equal shares, 50% of the ARR will pass to one creator, or the beneficiary / beneficiaries of one creator, and 50% to the other creator or the beneficiary / beneficiaries of the other creator.
ARR lasts for the full copyright period of the life of the creator and 70 years following the creator’s death. The restriction which prevented beneficiaries and other successors of deceased artists from receiving ARR royalties ended on 1st January 2012.
According to the UK Regulations, the seller of the work is jointly responsible and shares the responsibility with i) the agent of the seller, or if the seller is not using an agent ii) the agent of the buyer, or if the buyer is not using an agent iii) the buyer, provided the seller, agent or buyer is an art market professional. In practice, the terms of the art market professional may provide for the buyer to pay the ARR royalties.
The royalty payment due to you is calculated as a percentage of the resale price as follows:
Resale price (€) Royalty percentage amount due
From 1,000 to 50,000 4.00%
From 50,000.01 to 200,000 3.00%
From 200,000.01 to 350,000 1.00%
From 350,000.01 to 500,000 0.50%
Over 500,000 0.25%
The royalty is capped at €12,500.00.
ACS has created a calculator to work out the exact amount of ARR due on any sale. To use this calculator, click here.
No, an artist cannot waive or assign his or her right. The royalty can only be paid to you as the creator of the work which has been resold, or as the beneficiary or other successor of the creator.
If you have already registered with another collecting society for the collection of Artist’s Resale Right royalties, you are at liberty to change your mind. Check the terms of your agreement but most collecting societies stipulate a three-month notice period to deregister. If you have registered with another collecting society for the administration of your copyright or any other rights, this should not prevent you from registering with ACS for the management of your Artist’s Resale Right at the same time.
The Artist’s Resale Right will still apply if a professional art trader uses an internet-based service or an internet platform to sell your work as long as your work qualifies under the other criteria.
The UK Regulations stipulate that Artist’s Resale Right must be managed by a collecting society. This means that the royalty must be collected by a collecting society and distributed by the collecting society to you.
In order to ensure the collection of all ARR due throughout Europe, ACS uses the services of a number of European collecting societies. If a foreign collecting society’s commission is higher than 15%, where legally possible, ACS will always collect directly from Art Market Professionals in that country. This ensures that the artist or estate is never charged more than is absolutely necessary.
Works of art which are sold between two private individuals who are not professional art traders or agents are not eligible for Artist’s Resale Right.
The Artist’s Resale Right can be held by the successors of a deceased artist and can currently be exercised by descendants of any nationality. For more information or to register as a personal representative, trustee or beneficiary of a deceased artist, please visit our Artists’ Estates page.
If it is possible to prove that there are no beneficiaries of an artist’s estate, the ARR may pass to the Crown as bona vacantia (ownerless goods).
If some of the works you have resold are by artists represented by ACS and others by DACS then you will need to report sales to the relevant collecting society. To see which artist are represented by ACS, please check our members page here or contact us. If, however, any sales of known DACS members are reported to us in error, we will relay the information on your behalf.
ACS requires the following information to identify the artist, their eligibility for ARR, to identify their work, and to calculate the amount of ARR due to the artist:
Title of work
Lot Number (if applicable)
Date of sale
Information about which artists are represented by ACS is available on our website here. A complete list of our members is also posted to dealers and salerooms each quarter.
If you prefer, you can also email or post us a complete list of sales / a sales catalogue which we will search through ourselves for eligible ACS member sales and invoice accordingly.
ACS requests sales information from Art Market Professionals on a quarterly basis.
Following an invoice from ACS for the Artist’s Resale Right due on any eligible sales, payment is due within thirty days of the date of the invoice.
The UK Regulations declare that professional art traders must provide information regarding the sale of artworks to aid us in calculating the amount of Artist’s Resale Right due and in distributing royalties to artists. This information should be returned to us no later than ninety days from the date of request.
If the work of art is sold in a territory where Artists’s Resale Right is in force, the sale will still be subject to ARR. If you are in any doubt, please check with us first.
Works of art which are sold by a private individual to a private individual are exempt from the Artist’s Resale Right.
Artists receive a statement with their royalty payment. This includes the date of sale, the seller, the sale price and the net royalty due to the artist.
According to the ARR Regulations, an art market professional is ‘any individual acting in the course of a business of dealing in works of art.’ Dealers, auction houses, galleries and agents fall within this definition whereas museums and private or corporate collections do not.
ARR entitles artists and their beneficiaries to receive a royalty on a resale of an original work of art which reaches or exceeds the sterling equivalent of €1,000 (in the UK. This threshold differs throughout Europe). ARR falls under the general umbrella of copyright law and applies only to works of art that are still in copyright.
ACS is a not-for-profit company dedicated to the administration of Artist’s Resale Right. We currently represent over 1,000 artists and their estates.
The British Art Market Federation was founded in 1996 to represent the leading organisations in the UK’s art and antiques market. Member organisations of BAMF include The Society of London Art Dealers (SLAD) and The Association of Art & Antiques Dealers (LAPADA).
If the work of art was acquired directly from the artist and is resold within three years for a sum less than €10,000, the sale is ARR exempt. This exception is designed to encourage dealers to continue to buy young, unestablished artists’ work without having to worry about the additional fee.
A photographic archive specialising in images of art, history and culture, established in 1972 by Harriet Bridgeman. The archive holds approximately one million images from museums, institutions and other collections around the world, covering every aspect of art and including works by over 500 artists in copyright. ACS is affiliated with Bridgeman Images but is a separate company.
BERR brings together different functions from the former Department for Trade and Industry (DTI), including responsibilities for enterprise, business relations, regional development, fair markets and energy policy.
According to the ARR Regulations, a Collecting Society is a society or other organisation which has as its main object, or one of its main objects, the administration of rights on behalf of more than one artist.
A type of company introduced by the UK Government in 2005 under the Community Interest Act 2004. CICs are designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good. ACS is a registered CIC.
An intellectual property right which authors hold in respect of works they have created. Copyright confers an exclusive right to exploit an original work of art. It remains in force for the life of the author and for 70 years post mortem auctoris (after the author’s death).
In most European countries where Artist’s Resale Right is in place, it can be exercised by both living artists and their beneficiaries or other successors. The UK government secured an exemption – known as derogation – from the application of Artist’s Resale Right to the sales of works by deceased artists until 1st January 2012.
The French term for Artist’s Resale Right meaning ‘Right of Following.’ It is derived from the French law of mortgages and real property rights. Essentially, the right follows the work even if the work has changed hands.
Directive 2001/84/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council was implemented on the 27th September 2001, primarily to harmonise the existing national laws on Artist’s Resale Right. Member States were given a degree of freedom over how best to implement the right.
To be eligible for ARR, artists and their beneficiaries must be nationals of an EEA country, or one of the countries listed in schedule 2 of the Regulations.
Any graphic or plastic art such as a picture, a collage, a painting, a drawing, an engraving, a print, a lithograph, a sculpture, a tapestry, a ceramic, a work in glass or a photograph. A copy of a work is not eligible unless it is one of a limited number which have been made by the author or under his authority. For prints, please consult Categories A-C of the British Standards Classification of Prints (BS7876).
The 27 countries of the European Union plus Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland.
The official government body responsible for granting intellectual property (IP) rights in the United Kingdom. These rights include patents, designs, trade marks, and copyright.
If an artwork is bought or acquired directly from the creator it is considered to be a primary sale.
Sales between private individuals (versus public individuals such as registered dealers) are not subject to ARR. Neither are sales by private individuals to not-for-profit museums or other public arts organisations. Sales involving one art market professional (such as an auction house to a private individual) are subject to ARR.
A percentage of the royalty due to the artist kept by collecting societies in order to cover the costs of administering ARR. The legislation does not specify the amount.
Art Market Professionals are obliged to report all eligible sales to collecting societies, provided the request for information is made within three years of the sale. The art market professional must do everything in their power to respond to the request within 90 days.
Any sale subsequent to the first transfer of ownership by the artist. First transfers of ownership can be by way of gift, sale or legacy.
The ARR due per sale is based on a percentage of the sale price. The scale is set out in the ARR Regulations and the percentage decreases as the price increases. The sliding scale is capped and an artist can never earn more than €12,500 in ARR royalties per sale. To use our ARR calculator click here.