The following information is for legal shipping. It's up to you how you ship. Most artists decide this is too complicated. Other information is available on the blogs below.
Dear Sir or Madam,
Goods intended to be shown at a fair or an exhibition could be imported in temporary admission. Generally you/the importer do/does not pay duty or tax, but a deposit (see below for details).
If you/they receive an ATA carnet from the relevant association of their home country, you/they could use this for the import and export declarations. The associations that issue ATA carnets and their costs may be found on http://www.iccwbo.org/chamber-services/trade-facilitation/ata-carnets/. The deposit is already included in the ATA carnet costs.
An ATA carnet is the easiest way to apply for temporary admission. But you/they may also apply for it with a Single Administrative Document (SAD; in Germany form 0747, to be bought), which also has to state place and period of use in Germany. A deposit is obligatory (equivalent to the potential amount of import duty and tax on the imported goods; for handcrafted paintings, drawings or sculptures this would be 7% on the value including transport costs).
When re-exporting the items imported with SAD you/they need an electronic export declaration (e.g. on www.ausfuhrplus.internetzollanmeldung.de) and the "Verwendungsschein" (Form 0790, issued at import).
For language and access reasons I advise that you/they use the help of a customs broker or forwarding agency.
If goods are sent by post or courier service the relevant transporting company should be notified about the temporary admission, and a note should be made on the transport documents and the package to avoid "normal" treatment as import. As far as this answer contains legal statements this information can - for legal reasons - only be given to the best of our knowledge and is non-binding.
(Central Information Unit of the German customs administration)
Postfach 10 07 61
Enquiries in English:
Tel.: +49 351/44834-530
Fax: +49 351/44834-590
By telephone you may contact Central Information Unit
Monday-Friday 08:00 - 17:00
This blog is primarily for exhibition development. It provides ongoing information for artists participating in the upcoming Berlin exhibition. But it's also our tool for interaction, a place where we ask questions, get to know each other, and create an amazing, streamlined exhibition by working more efficiently as a collective.