Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions of the buyer
The joint stock company Auction House Bernaerts JSC (hereafter BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS) announces to the participants of the sale that the sale will be held according to the terms and conditions listed below and any participation in the auctions implies the unconditional acceptance of the present conditions of sale.
1. Auction day
The auction takes place through an oral or written bid. The highest bidder for each item is the successful bidder who will purchase the item against cash payment. At the time of the purchase and to the extent that he did not previously, the potential purchaser must register by presenting proof of identity and indicating his name, address, telephone number, the number of his identity card and his signature on the registration form of BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS. In return, he will receive a paddle with its personal number to participate in the auction. In other cases, the purchaser presents himself to complete and sign his entry form, after which he will receive a paddle with his personal number. Online sale bidders must register at least 5 hours before the beginning of the auction by filling the form on My Account. For each new online sale, the buyer must register by accepting the Terms and Conditions of sale.
2. Commitment of the bidder
By its offer, the bidder commits himself to purchase the auction items for sale at the price he has proposed. He nevertheless has no say when the sale is suspended for any reason at all.
BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS may, in case of a negligent buyer, decide to cancel the sale and sell the lot to the underbidder. BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS may then recover any costs or lost revenue from the buyer.
3. Conduct of sale, order
The judicial officer maintains order during the sale. It is he who ultimately rules all possible disputes born of the sale, including the bidding increments and the designation of the highest bidder. The auctioneer has, among others, the right to set the minimum price of each offer, not to accept the bid of persons that he does not know or whose identity or creditworthiness not seemed proven – in which case, the previous bidder remains bound-, to suspend the sale, without having to explain thereon to the bidders, to split, join or withdraw any item. In case of obstruction or disruption of the auction by violence, threat or a fraudulent way, the provisions of article 314 of the Penal Code will be applied. In case a price limit has been set by the provider/seller, BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS has the right to bid on behalf of the provider/seller. BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS reserves the right to refuse any offer made by unknown buyers.
4. Buyer by mandate or third-party buyer
The purchaser may designate a proxy, provided that he signals it to the auctioneer at the end of the sale. The purchaser answers for the solvency and the competence of its proxy; each purchaser remains responsible for its purchase, even if another person is stated as (proxy) purchaser.
The successful bid does not imply any guarantee on the part of the auctioneer responsible for the sale nor on the part of the acting judicial officer, concerning among others the authenticity. Items and art objects are sold in the state in which they are at the auction exhibition and sale, and without any guarantee. Buyers are expected to have reviewed items and objects of art and to have made their offer being informed. The estimated prices quoted in the catalogue serve for information purposes only. If necessary, the catalogue on paper takes precedence over the electronic version (on paper catalogues can be consulted or downloaded free of charges on www.bernaerts.be ). In exceptional cases, the sale of an art object can be cancelled and the hammer price refunded to the purchaser if the object bought is returned within three weeks, with evidence that it is a falsification, and provided that the object remained in the same condition as at the time of the auction.
6. Indivisibility and particularity
All obligations of purchase are by law, jointly and indissolubly, both for legal persons as for physical persons, the responsibility of all those who buy for a joint account, the final purchaser and those who bought for him, on the securities between them and those for whom they act as guarantor, as well as the heirs and successors of each of the people mentioned above.
7. Payment of the purchase price and the additional costs by the purchaser
The purchaser in the room and the purchaser who has bid by purchase order must pay, immediately after the sale or at the time of the removal of the items,
the hammer price, plus 25% on the hammer price in the room, on the absentee bid and by telephone bid, including VAT, for costs.
The simultaneous sale in live (webcast) bidders must pay the purchase price increased by 28% on the hammer price, VAT included.
The silent sales and/or aftersales bidders must pay the purchase price increased by 30% on the hammer price, VAT included.
For each item, an additional administrative costs of € 2 will have to be paid and, if applicable, a droit de suite (right to follow or resale right). The droit de suite is an extension of the copyright law that entitles a compensation to the creator of a work of art in case of a resale of the work.
This right may apply both to sculptures and to graphic works of art. A droit the suite is charged in case of a resale of original works of art of living artists or artists who died less than 70 years ago and from a price of € 2,000.00 on.
It amounts to 4% of the price up to € 50,000.00;
to 3% of the auction price segment between € 50,000.01 and € 200,000.00;
to 1% of the auction price segment between € 200,000.01 and € 350,000.00;
to 0.50% of the auction price segment between € 350,000.01 and € 500,000.00;
to 0.25% of the auction price segment above € 500,000.01 price.
However, the droit de suite can never exceed € 12,500.00.
The rate of the first segment, i.e. 4%, should be applied to the entire amount that lies within this segment. (Law of 4 December 2006 and R.D. of 2 August 2007).
Only banknotes in euros (up to an amount of € 2,999 per object, fees included) will be accepted for payment of the purchase price and costs.
In case of payment through a non-certified cheque, delivery of the items may be suspended until the crediting.
8. Compensation – confusion
The buyer cannot claim nor compensation, nor confusion, nor article 1653 of the Belgian Civil Code in case of trouble of the purchaser.
9. Resale – irresponsible bidding
If the purchaser, the highest bidder, the guarantor and/or the indicated proxy have failed to immediately fulfil the obligations set out in these terms and conditions or to immediately meet one of the conditions of sale, the item may be resold on the basis of an irresponsible bidding, at the expense of the highest bidder. The resale is done by the judicial officer already requested, under the same conditions of sale. The failing purchaser shall pay the difference between the purchase price and the resale price, without being able to claim the balance between the purchase price and the resale price in case the resale price exceeds the purchase price. This balance will be to the benefit of the provider/seller or to the creditors. The irresponsible bidder is required in addition to the payment of expenses caused by its negligence and by the resale, as well as other charges of any kind, without prejudice to damages for any reason whatsoever. Delivery of a cheque which is not paid immediately at the first presentation, is considered failure to pay, without prejudice to the application of the criminal law if necessary, nor of the protest, discount and other grant.
10. Transfer of ownership – provisional measures
As soon as the highest bidder is determined, all risks related to the purchases will be the responsibility of the purchaser. The item is delivered in the state it is at the time of the auction, with all its apparent and hidden defects. At the auction, the item shall be kept with the utmost care. However, the buyer must take all measures for the preservation of the item. As soon as the highest bidder is determined, items only remain on-site at the risk and under the responsibility of the purchaser, which is solely responsible for the item he bought.
11. State of the items – exhibition
Since items and works of art are exhibited before the auction, and the terms and conditions have been communicated, the purchaser is supposed to be informed fully, personally and on his own responsibility of the state of the items and art objects. He has no recourse against BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS, against the acting judicial officer or against the auctioneer, for error, inaccuracy, or negligence in the description of the items and works of art, nor for inconvenience, discomfort, the state of the items and works of art, their repair or restoration. All data concerning items and the works of art in catalogues, advertisements, brochures or any other written or digital communication from BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS, and especially their description, are provided only for information purposes and without prejudice. Neither BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS, nor the acting judicial officer assume any responsibility in this regard. The sale is preceded by an exhibition during which BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS will be available – physically or virtually – to the public to provide information to the best of its possibilities; the exhibition is intended to allow the examination of the state of conservation and the quality of the items as well as to provide guidance on possible defects or inaccuracies in the description of the catalogue. The public can also appeal to BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS or to an expert chosen by the interested person, for a thorough review and that, for the duration of the exhibition. BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS is not prepared to take the item back if the description of the catalogue is revoked during the sale and that the right description is given orally to the public. Each visitor is responsible for the damage that he causes to the exposed objects and items, even if it happened coincidentally or involuntarily. Similarly, the provisions of article 2280 of the Civil Code apply to this auction.
12. Passing of possession – removal
The buyer who has paid the full purchase price and costs will pass in possession of the item sold. Upon removal, it is required to submit a proof of payment. No item can be removed during the live auction itself. Unless expressly authorized by BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS, no item will be delivered until full payment of the purchase price and costs. The damage caused during the removal or displacement of items are at the charge and risk of the purchaser. When the time period for the removal is passed, an interest of 1% per month on the hammer price will be charged, with a minimum of € 5 per day and per item. For the removal dates we refer to the terms and conditions printed in the catalogue and on the web site.
In case BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS, for whatever reason, is required to repay the funds that have already been paid, no interest can be counted on this sum.
14. Written and telephone bids
Through a written bid, BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS takes care of its customers purchase bids, free of charge. The purchase of the items is done in the cheapest way possible, provided the price limits or other possible offers allow it. The price limits set by phone are accepted at the risk of the seller. They must be confirmed by letter or fax, undersigned by the bidder. You complete the ‘absentee bidding form’ [link] during your visit at the auction house, or you download [link] it and deliver it no later than 24 h prior to the auction to BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS, or you send it by email (info(at)bernaerts.be) or by fax (+ 32 3 248 15 93), no later than 5 hours prior to the start of the auction. The auctioneer will try to purchase the item for you at the most beneficial price. These bids are no purchase orders nor commissions, but the orders to buy at the price indicated. In case of equal bid, the oral offer has priority on the written and digital ones. If several written bids of the same amount on the same item reach BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS and the written bids are the highest bid for the item in question, the item will be awarded to the first written bid having reached BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS. The auctioneer is not required to inform the public beforehand. The non-execution of a written bid, a telephone bid or an online bid by mistake or for any other cause (technical or otherwise) cannot be the subject of a claim for damages to BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS. The written, telephone and online bids are a free service offered to customers and cannot result in any kind of responsibility of BERNAERTS AUCTIONEERS.
Each visitor is responsible for the damage caused to the exposed objects and items.
16. Court of jurisdiction
All disputes over the sale fall, as appropriate, under the exclusive competence of the courts of Antwerp, regardless of the domicile of the parties. In case these terms and conditions are a translation, the Dutch text will prevail.
Last update: May 10, 2023
Terms and condition of the seller
- The joint stock company Auction House Bernaerts JSC (hereafter Auction House Bernaerts) acts in all respect and with regard to all the goods released for sale as exclusive intermediary of the provider who gives these goods to Auction House Bernaerts JSC with intended to sell them. Auction House Bernaerts JSC sells as a commission agent in its own name and for the account of the seller, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
- Acceptance of the goods does not oblige Auction House Bernaerts JSC to sell them or to put them on sale at auction.
- Auction House Bernaerts JSC reserves itself a commission of 15% on the hammer price.
- No object entered at auction can be taken back by the seller. The objects are irrevocably assigned to the highest bidder. No restrictions may be imposed on Auction House Bernaerts JSC unless otherwise agreed in writing.
- The seller confirms that the delivered goods were once intended for his personal use and that he is the rightful owner. He stated, in addition, to release Auction House Bernaerts JSC from liability of any kind, in case of the auction of the goods. Seller shall fully indemnify Auction House Bernaerts JSC in case of complaints and disputes which could arise from the goods that Auction House Bernaerts JSC has sold or has yet to sell in his name. In case the goods are stolen or that they are the subject of a (pending) judicial decision the seller will always remain responsible for repayment to Auction House Bernaerts JSC of the net amount received following the sale, this on simple request. All goods are accepted without price limit, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
- In the event that the goods sold at auction do not reach the starting price or limit price agreed, they are removed. Auction House Bernaerts JSC will present these goods for sale in the After Sale that ends at 12 am, on the Monday after the live auction. If necessary, Auction House Bernaerts JSC can present these goods on sale at one of its upcoming online sales, this with a new limit price up to 50% of the original starting or limit price. To cover any expenses, Auction House Bernaerts JSC will charge an amount equal to 5% of the agreed value – with a minimum of € 15 – unless otherwise agreed in writing, in case of a bought-in. For goods having a value of less than € 3,000 no limit is accepted, unless otherwise agreed. For all goods which have not been removed by the seller within 21 days after notification by Auction House Bernaerts JSC, an interest of 1% per month of the hammer price, with a minimum of € 5 per day and per item, will be charged as storage cost. Auction House Bernaerts JSC reserves the right to sell these goods again after having previously notified the seller, this in order to eventually recover the (storage) costs.
- The shipment of goods to Auction House Bernaerts JSC must be free of payment. All transport costs, customs, insurance, etc. are the responsibility of the sender-seller. In case Auction House Bernaerts JSC returns the goods to the seller, this will be done solely and exclusively at the risk and cost of the latter. These returns are absolutely not insured by Auction House Bernaerts JSC, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
- Auction House Bernaerts JSC will pay to the seller the net amount of the sale deducting his commission and other fees agreed upon, such as the restoration, expertise, transportation, etc. This insofar as Auction House Bernaerts JSC has in turn received the payments from the buyer. If in doubt about the solvency of the buyer and/or dispute over the description or the nature of an object, or for any other reason, Auction House Bernaerts JSC has the right to delay the payment to the seller until receipt of the payment from the buyer.
- The seller allows Auction House Bernaerts JSC to sell the goods delivered by him according to the terms and conditions which seem most suitable in the eyes of Auction House Bernaerts JSC.
- All verbal agreements which are not confirmed in writing by Auction House Bernaerts JSC are non-existent.
- If the seller is subject to VAT and he sells goods as such, he must inform Auction House Bernaerts JSC in advance and provide all necessary billing data.
- Payment will be done from five weeks on after the goods have been presented at auction, sold and paid for by the buyer.
- The return of this document is necessary and mandatory for collection of the goods in the event of recovery.
- This document is considered as the basic agreement and is therefore not valid as an expert report. In the period between the writing of the document and the auction layout changes, adaptations of all kinds can be added to or removed from the original description, the estimate or limit price.
- All disputes fall under the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Antwerp.
Last update: sept 20, 2022.