What is an ATA Carnet?

Acorn International

An ATA Carnet acts as a 'passport for goods’ for temporary export and, in most cases, replaces the need for a customs declaration. Carnets were introduced to make trade between countries easier, allowing duty-free and tax-free temporary admission of goods to an approved country on the ATA Carnet scheme. Since January 2021, Carnets are now used for all EU countries and while not mandatory, Carnets have proven to be an effective way of moving goods without the hefty customs charges and difficulties that occur when travelling without one. Every year, approximately 190,000 ATA Carnets are issued worldwide covering goods valued at $26 billion* 

1. An ATA Carnet reduces the cost of exporting

When using an ATA Carnet to temporarily export your goods or equipment, the cost savings can be significant. When exporting without a Carnet, you are required to pay set percentages of Duty and Taxes on your goods, merchandise, or equipment, and these costs can add up.  By using an ATA Carnet, you avoid paying VAT and duties. Recently, a charity bike trip was caught out and hit with a significant Spanish customs duty charge of over £7000 that could have been avoided with a Business West ATA Carnet. 

2. An ATA Carnet reduces risk

The process of applying for your Carnet can seem complicated, however, using a Business West ATA Carnet can eliminate the risk of being stopped at borders/customs by ensuring the correct completion of the document with all the necessary security and vouchers being provided.  This will allow you to pass through the border swiftly and prevent any unexpected duty charges that may occur without the correct completion of a Carnet. 

3. An ATA Carnet simplifies customs procedures

An ATA Carnet allows an exporter to use a single document for the duration of their trip. This allows exporters to enter overseas countries and exit without difficulty and do so at a predetermined cost without any hidden fees. 

4. An ATA Carnet is valid for up to 12 months and unlimited trips

An ATA Carnet is valid for up to 12 months and allows the movement of the goods shown on the Carnet as many times as required, to any of the countries in the carnet league. Please note - once a carnet is issued, you cannot change any of the details on the Carnet.

5. An ATA Carnet has international recognition across 87 countries 

Currently, 87 different countries accept ATA Carnets, which makes them an extremely cost-effective export document when moving goods internationally. When using an ATA Carnet for Europe, you can visit 27 adjacent countries, through open borders with no further cost, so an ATA Carnet provides a simplified process to export your goods temporarily.   

We hope this blog helps you to understand the benefits of using a Carnet when temporarily exporting your non-consumable goods or equipment abroad. To apply for your ATA Carnet please click here

*Source: ICC https://iccwbo.org/resources-for-business/ata-carnet/