Commodity Spotlight: Painting Exports

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By: Heather Hrytsyshyn

Recently, there has been a lot of attention on paintings fetching extremely high prices at auctions. Some of these paintings are exported once the sale is complete. In fact, the United States has exported an impressive $48.2 billion* in paintings over the last decade (2003-2013). Take a look at the graph below to see the trend:

2-26-2014 graph - paintings

Domestic versus Foreign Paintings – Move Over Picasso!

As you can see, the collection of export statistics for paintings is separated by whether they were produced domestically or in a foreign country.

  • Total Exports of Domestic Paintings (2003-2013)= $24.9 Billion**
  • Total Exports of Foreign Paintings (2003-2013)= $23.3 Billion**

While the difference seems relatively small, exports of domestic paintings exceeded exports of foreign paintings by $1.5 billion* over the last ten years.

Reminder when Reporting Painting Exports in the AES:

  1. Classification: For exports of paintings (both domestic and foreign), choose Schedule B Code 9701.10.0000.
  2. Domestic/ Foreign Indicator: When you are filing electronic export information in the AES for paintings, make sure that you have the correct foreign or domestic indicator selected under Origin of Goods. See image from AESDirect below:

d&f indicatorFor domestic and foreign export data, please refer to “Merchandise Data” on the Census Bureau’s webpage Foreign Trade Data Products. For general information on how to obtain international trade data from USA Trade Online, contact the Data Dissemination Branch at 1-800-549-0595, option 4.

*Export data from USA Trade Online
**Domestic an foreign export data from Merchandise Data

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6 Responses to Commodity Spotlight: Painting Exports

  1. Phil says:

    With regard to original art/paintings, the coding of 9701.10.0000 is clear. But what about the wording – what impact on the passage through customs does the particular choice of words have?

    For example, something might be described as Original Art, or Original Painting, or just Painting, and still fit the code.

  2. Natasha Arguello says:

    The graph you mention in the post is not displayed. Thanks!

    • Global Reach Daniel says:

      It should work now. We have reloaded the graph and the AESDirect snapshot of the D/F indicator. Thanks for the information!

  3. Dr.A.Khan says:

    Where is the source to sell paintings?Where I can sell my painting international?

    • Heather says:

      @Dr.A.Khan, For information on international buyers, I suggest you call the International Trade Administration at 1-800-872-8723.

  4. Heather says:

    @Phil, Good question! When reporting in the AES, as long as your description covers what the product is, then that is perfectly fine. For information related to customs clearance, I suggest contacting Customs Border Protection at 1-877-227-5511 or visit their website at

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