What is an ATA Carnet?

An ATA Carnet is an international Customs document, which facilitates the temporary import of certain goods into the countries which participate in the ATA Carnet scheme.

The document is used to eliminate import taxes or duties, and to simplify Customs procedures by streamlining the export documentation required. All items imported using an ATA Carnet must be re-exported within the validity period of the ATA Carnet, which is usually one year from the date of issue, depending on the country of importation.

ATA Carnet for Audio equipment, Microphone and mixer ATA Carnet for Cannon camera equipment

Goods which can be covered on an ATA Carnet

The majority of goods which are not consumable or perishable can be covered by an ATA Carnet. Goods which can be covered have been separated into three guidance categories:

  • Professional Equipment such as camera equipment
  • Goods for Presentation such as display stands
  • Commercial Samples such as models, prototypes

What are the benefits of using an ATA Carnet?

Rather than creating various import/export documentation for goods which are being exported on a temporary basis, countries who partake in the Carnet scheme allow the smooth entry and exit of non-perishable goods with the use of an ATA Carnet.

  • An ATA Carnet can be used multiple times within the validity period, allowing the goods to be moved multiple times without additional cost
  • Lower costs, due to reduction or removal of import duties or tax
  • Trips can be made to multiple countries
  • Importing the goods back to the original exporting country is a simplified process
ATA Carnet, A passport for goods and equipment

What does “ATA Carnet” mean?

“ATA” is an acronym of the French and English words “Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission”. Carnets are also regularly referred to as a “Merchandise passport” or a “Passport for goods”.

The International Chamber of Commerce

Who is responsible for the correct implementation of ATA Carnets?

The system was initially started as a Customs enterprise; however it is now managed by the World ATA Carnet Council. In each participating country, a guaranteeing organisation manages the system in its home country. The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry acts as the guaranteeing organisation for the whole of the U.K. The London Chamber of Commerce is based in-house at the Blair Consular Head Office in Ashford, Middlesex, enabling us to liaise directly on behalf of our clients.

For support from our dedicated ATA Carnet team, please contact us on:
Telephone: +44 (0)1784 772959
Email: carnets@blairconsular.co.uk.