Since January 2020, businesses and sole practitioners in the UK art market who meet the definition of an ‘art market participant’ (AMP) must comply with the UK’s Anti-Money Laundering Regulations.
You are an AMP if by way of business you trade in, or act as an intermediary in the sale or purchase of, works of art and the total value of the transaction or linked transactions (including taxes and costs) is 10,000 euros or more (approximately £8,500). Operators of freeports who store works of art of this value are also AMPs. For details of your obligations as an AMP please see our AMLD5 and the Art Market programme.
Further to correspondence with HMRC, the designated anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing supervisor for AMPs, it was understood that the definition of an AMP would almost invariably include not only art dealers, galleries and auction house but also artists who sold their own works of art at a total value of 10,000 euros or more. However on 26 May 2021, HMRC released a statement as follows:
"HM Treasury have recently confirmed that artists – people who create original art – do not fall within the scope of the Anti Money Laundering Regulations… and therefore they are not required to register as an AMP."
HMRC has also confirmed that any artists who have already registered as AMPs may obtain a refund of their registration fee by contacting HMRC at MLRCIT@HMRC.GOV.UK.
Please note that the above statement from HMRC does not exempt artists who trade in, or act as an intermediary in the sale or purchase of, works of art produced by other artists from complying with the Money Laundering Regulations. If you remain unsure whether you fall within the definition of an AMP then you should contact HMRC to seek clarification, and it is hoped that further updated guidance, in addition to the HM Treasury-approved guidance produced by the British Art Market Federation, will be forthcoming.
AMLD5 and the Art Market is a programme of free training sessions and workshops, offering practical advice to support art market participants to understand, assess and respond to their obligations under the latest Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD5).
The programme was designed and developed by Creative United, and delivered in partnership with London law firm Kingsley Napley, with support from Arts Council England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Creative Scotland.