© Urs Fischer, Varnish Tarnish, 2022

© Urs Fischer, Varnish Tarnish, 2022

Swiss Art Market Association

The umbrella organisation of the four
major Swiss art trade associations

The Swiss Art Market Association (SAMA), the umbrella organisation of the four major Swiss art trade associations (Gallerists’ Association, Association of Dealers in Antiques & Art, Auctioneers’ Association and Art Dealers’ Association), with its headquarters in Zurich, aims to safeguard the interests of art market participants in the trade vis-à-vis the authorities, associations, private individuals and the media. The SAMA actively promotes a dialogue in politics, business and law that does not ignore the special features of the art market. All this with the aim of defending the advantageous framework conditions of the art market in Switzerland and leading it into the future.


 Protection of cultural property

In the area of cultural property protection, the EU has issued a new Regulation (EU) 2019/880 on the import of cultural goods. The implementation period for the individual member states runs until 2025. The aim of the regulation is to further tighten the import of cultural goods unlawfully exported from their countries of origin into the EU, regardless of whether objects are imported directly from their countries of origin or via third countries. Archaeological cultural goods are a particular focus of the new EU regulation and generally require an import licence. The SAMA is in dialogue with the FOC's Cultural Property Transfer Office in order to find a practical response to this tightening of EU regulations for the Swiss art market.

Looted art

In the area of looted art, the Federal Council has decided to set up an independent commission of experts to deal in particular with Nazi-looted art and colonial cultural assets, implementing parts of the Pult motion (I) adopted by the Councils. The ordinance adopted by the Federal Council came into force on 1 January 2024. The SAMA is in favour of the appropriate involvement of the Swiss art trade in the commission of experts to be created.

Money Laundering Prevention

The "Motion Pult" (subordination of the art trade to the stricter money laundering regulations for financial intermediaries) introduced in the Swiss parliament is based on false assumptions and the demanded new legal regulation would result in an enormous additional bureaucratic effort for the entire art trade without necessity. The VKMS counters this by providing our members with pragmatically suitable digital tools in the sense of genuine self-regulation, which, in addition to KYC rules, also take over sanction controls and thus offer a genuine counter-model.