What is the Responsible Art Market Initiative?

The Responsible Art Market (“RAM”) Initiative is the first of its kind, non-profit, cross market initiative formed in Geneva in 2015. RAM’s founding members span the entire spectrum of the art market and include art businesses, institutions and practitioners.  Please see the Organisation page for details.


What is RAM’s mission / purpose?

RAM aims to raise awareness amongst Art Businesses of risks faced by the art industry in Switzerland and abroad and to provide practical guidance and a platform for the sharing of best practices to address those risks.

Why was RAM formed?

Today’s art market is proving more important and globalised than ever, but at the same time increasingly challenging for smaller art businesses and individual collectors who face a growing number of operational and reputational risks when dealing with artworks.

Against this backdrop and the growing tide of state imposed regulation (notably the enhanced Swiss Anti Money Laundering reforms which came into force in 2016), a group of art market businesses and specialists came together in Geneva to form the Responsible Art Market Initiative (RAM).

To address the operational and reputational threats faced by the art market, RAM advocates a best practice guidance based approach which builds on the responsible practices which already exist within the art market. By adopting a cooperative approach to sharing and encouraging standardised best practices throughout the industry, RAM aims to have a greater impact when it comes to reducing risks for art businesses and collectors alike, thereby increasing public trust in the market and combatting negative public perceptions.

Why is RAM publishing guidelines?

RAM’s guidelines aim to consolidate and disseminate best practices which exist within the art market providing a practical and ethical compass to art businesses navigating the often complex and confusing sea of national laws and regulations.

Is RAM a certification scheme?

RAM is not a certifying body.  RAM’s guidelines are primarily ethical and general in nature. Art Businesses are welcome to subscribe to the guidelines on a voluntary basis.

How is RAM different?

A distinguishing feature of RAM is its collaborative, inter-disciplinary approach. Stakeholders from the entire spectrum of the Swiss art market, including galleries, dealers, auction houses, art advisors and service providers, have joined forces with lawyers, academics and authorities specialising in art related and compliance matters, to ensure issues are addressed holistically.