Sotheby's and Christie's will both collect the new artist's resale royalties (droit de suite) from the buyer, not the seller, when art is resold in London for over 1,000 pounds sterling (hammer price, including VAT). The United Kingdom adopted the new droit de suite regulations on February 14th.
The new royalty is payable on a sliding scale, from 4% to .25%, and is capped at 12,500 pounds sterling. It currently goes to living artists when their work is resold, after the deduction of expenses by the collecting agency, and is being applied throughout the European Union.
By deciding to charge the buyer rather than the seller, the London auction houses hope that the policy will encourage collectors to continue to sell in London, instead of selling in the U.S. or Switzerland, where there is no droit de suite.
Christie's noted, "The contemporary art market plays a very significant part in London's success. It is this particularly vibrant area that is most under threat of being dulled by such legislation."