Freeport art storage centers or facilities are used to circumvent the pain of paying taxes on artwork. Once an artwork you bought gets delivered, you are legally inclined to pay a certain percentage as tax. To avoid this tax burden there are many such freeports all over the world to help store the artwork for a period of time or even permanently.
Here are some of the most important and famous ones.
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List of Freeport art storage centers around the world
The Geneva Freeport is a favorite for everyone and is one of the leading Freeports with more than a billion dollars worth of artwork in their books.
Today, Geneva Free Port consists of different warehouses scattered across the Canton of Geneva. The Headquarters and main buildings are in La Praille, an industrial area south of the Canton, only a few kilometers away from the French borders. The entire Geneva Free Port extends over 150,000 square meters, half of it being a duty-free zone.
Since they house more than a billion dollars worth of artwork, they always have the state of the art security and keep upgrading it to prevent any robbery. For example, the headquarters has a large windowless concrete block surrounded by barbed-wire fences and also it stands above extensive basements.
It is the tip of the iceberg designed to resist earthquakes and fires.
This is pretty much a lesser-known or the latest one on this list. But recently they have begun to start branding themselves as a freeport to get more people to choose them. Two things go in favor of the Delaware Freeport
- No sales tax in the entire state
- No federal customs duty on any art that is imported to the United States via this port.
They have recently changed its name in 2021 to Luxembourg High-Security Hub. The main drawback of this freeport is that they require the trustees of a trust storing art inside the freeport to disclose the identity of the trust’s beneficiaries.
This might be a big alarming sign for most people as many like to maintain their anonymity when storing their stuff in a freeport. But many other freeports don’t require this disclosure.
Hong Kong is essentially a tax haven and the entire country is essentially a freeport itself.
For starters, the list of goods that can have duty levied on them does not include art if it is used for export and import purposes. Second of all, there is no sales tax and also no capital gains tax.
So this creates a peculiar situation in this country where the artwork can be stored outside of a warehouse, and still incur many of the benefits that traditional freeports offer.
Changi Airport, Singapore
This freeport is located at the Changi airport. The Singapore freeport provides all major art services and, at over 22,500 square feet, is expansive.
Which is the best freeport facility?
This question depends on the use case such as whether it is temporary or permanent storage, the type of artwork that is going to be stored, as we discussed before whether you are willing to disclose your details as is required in Luxemborg.
Some people would like their freeport to be located closer to their actual place of residence. So if you live in India then Switzerland might be too far for you, so you might be better served to have Singapore or Hong Kong as your freeport.
So you need to consider all these tiny details before choosing one. So there can never really be just one option that fits all but if you are looking for recommendations, then Geneva it is.
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