Code of Practice of the Association of German Art Auctioneers (e.V. - Registered Association)

Incorporated members of the BDK e.V. are committed to the following:

To act as a mediator between the client and the purchaser, in which all parties are dealt with fairly and according to legal procedures that auctioneers are bound to.

  1. To understand and draw up a consensus between buyer and seller regarding the quality of the work being sold, and establish liability for its condition.
  2. To make works owned then sold by the house be known to the buyer, and that such works be traded according to the consensus view of affiiliate members.
  3. To adhere to the principles of fairness and accuracy in advertising and competition, to not make misleading statements, e.g. advertising a piece for sale below an agreed minimum.
  4. To only apply written comission bids up to the point no bidding needs to continue.
  5. To settle funds with sellers in a timely manner.
  6. To only publish prices that have been made clear on how they have been reached, and to ensure these are always up to date for the sake of the seller and convenience of prospective buyers.
  7. To not offer for sale any goods that are believed to have been acquired through theft, misappropriation or otherwise illegally, and to not offer for sale anything in contravention of a country's import and export laws.
  8. To not offer for sale any materials that come from listed endangered species if they fall into the category.
  9. To not carry through transactions where it is believed money laundering or other illegal enterprise is afoot.

Members of the BDK should recognise these rules as binding. Proven violations of provisions are regarded as a violation of the Resolution of the Association, §2 para. 7, and might result in expulsion from the Association.

Code of Practice for the International Art Trade

Within the full spirit of worldwide concern about both the trade in stolen antiquities and the trade in goods from protected species, members of the Association, as representatives of the German art trade, are undersigned to the following:

The German art trade will not tolerate nor participate in the practices of import or export where it is believed that -

a) The seller is not entitled to sale under applicable German laws pertaining to whether the artifact is believed to be stolen or otherwise illegally acquired.

b) An export agency has exported an artifact illegally, in contravention of the host country's export stipulations.

c) It is believed that an archaeological artifact has been imported without the full legal clearance of the host country.

Within the realm of all legal possibilities, members of the BDK are committed to ensuring they make the case for the return of illegally obtained goods to their rightful owners or countries of origin, provided sufficient evidence has been given. In the case of repatriation of goods, this is to be done in a timely manner and in the case of a legal acquisition, adequate compensation is granted.

The German art trade fully supports laws which protect the sale of goods from endangered species, and will continue to not trade in such goods following the adoption of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). Associates will always wholeheartedly uphold the principles of CITES.

The German art trade will always endeavour to make impossible the facilitation of trade in stolen or otherwise illegally exported goods, and will always be committed to the prevention of such illegal trade with whatever means available.

This Code of Practice encompasses all artifacts that fall under the category of art and antiques, all undersigned partners will strive to ensure all subsequent members fully comply with it.

Association of German Art Auctioneers has made binding for all members the provisions of the “Code of Practice for the International Art Trade.” Proven violations of provisions are regarded as a violation of the Resolution of the Association, §2 para. 7, and might result in expulsion from the Association.