ATA docshipper

What is an ATA Carnet and How Do You Use It?

The Carnet ATA facilitates international trade by streamlining documentation and lowering transaction costs.
Several customs documents typically required for transit, temporary export, and temporary import are replaced by the Carnet ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission), allowing foreign commercial enterprises to operate tax-free. This process makes it possible, among other things, to take part in salons, present product samples, or use professional, scientific, or educational equipment. The ATA Carnet may be used to cover the temporary importation of goods into trade with parties to the ATA of Brussels (1961) and/or the Istanbul Convention (1990).

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What does a temporary import mean?

temporary importYou take part in a meeting, an exhibition, or a sporting event. You want to show commercial prototypes or samples to your foreign clients. You meet up with someone in another country to shoot a movie or a documentary? You have a renovation project outside of Europe.

These scenarios are all examples of temporary importing. This specific customs policy relates to goods that are imported for a brief period of time into a customs zone before being returned to the state.

This temporary importation calls for particular steps. Furthermore, you must notify the customs offices of the relevant countries of the duties and taxes associated with these products. For each country you visit, you must also complete administrative paperwork. All of these could result in difficulties, delays, or unexpected costs that you wouldn't want to experience.

What benefits does the ATA carnet offer ?

A trustworthy passport for your goods, the ATA carnet will greatly simplify your life.

Your customs clearance will be easier initially since all the information that could be needed about you is contained on a single document. Due to the elimination of certain administrative procedures both during importation and reexportation, it will also be quicker.

The one-of-a-kind guarantee offered by the ATA, which is valid internationally, is also preferable to the collection of guarantees that should be obtained in each country visited. Finally, the ATA carnet enables temporary exportation that is less risky and free of the challenges that may arise when trying to retrieve the deposit made upon entry into a country.

Several ATA examples:

A carnet ATA for the Winter Olympics in Beijing:
Following approval from the organizing committee and Chinese customs, the China Chamber of International Commerce (CCOIC) published a guide on using ATA carnets for merchandise headed for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

A project ATA for the United Kingdom:
You are increasingly more likely to use the ATA carnet to ship your goods to the United Kingdom.

ending ATA carnets for Brazil on January 1, 2022:
As of January 1st 2022, there will no longer be an organization guaranteeing the use of ATA carnets in Brazil, and this will have an impact on their use.

ATA Carnet

The essential

  • A Carnet ATA is valid for a period of twelve months.
  • Online orders for the ATA carnet can be placed at the ITA.
  • The cost of the ATA carnet varies and is based on a number of factors
  • The list of nations that recognize the ATA card is always changing (cf. list of countries that accept or reject the ATA carnet).
  • Except for Metropole operations, no intracommunity transactions require the use of the ATA carnet. DROM-COM or other transfers across jurisdictions with different taxation

The way the ATA carnet works

This ATA carnet must be issued by organizations that are guaranteed and affiliated with the W.C.F. , a global network of guarantee.

They are issued in France by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (directly or through the local chambers of commerce), which acts as the transaction's guarantee with regard to customs.

The operator must obtain the prints required for the constitution of the carnet from the appropriate business chambers.

The use of the ATA constitutes legitimate customs operations, and as such, requires that certain documentation, such as those pertaining to health and safety, phytosanitization, military equipment, the Washington Convention, BDU, and other regulations, be shown.

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The ATA carnet description

The A4-sized form is made up of the following:

  • the international chain of guarantee information, the association's identification number, the expiration date of the carnet (limited to one year), the signature of the holder of the carnet and his representative, the intended use of the merchandise, and the confirmation of the departure country's customs officials when the carnet was taken into their possession (verification of the merchandise, registration of the merchandise).
  • information about the goods for which the carnet is being issued (order number, commercial designation, number, weight, value (commercial value))...
  • containing a yellow encart and yellow sheets gathering the formalities related to temporary export and import.
  • for temporary entry and repatriation operations, a white encart and white filing sheets.
  • containing a blue encart and blue sheets of paper that group the transportation operations.

The conditions for delivery

ATA carnet conditions of deliveryA carnet ATA may only be issued to a single holder , who must meet the requirements to be eligible for the temporary entry or exportation program given the nature of the intended operation (which is stated on the back of the carnet's cover).

The physical person using the ATA carnet on their behalf may act in place of the holder.

In the event of an obstruction, the designated representative may be replaced by a third party, so long as the latter presents a procuration indicating that she is acting on behalf of the holder.

In the same circumstances, the holder also has the option of turning to a licensed commissionnaire or licensed transporter.
The use of the ATA carnet for temporary admission operations

There isn't an entire list of products that can be included on an ATA carnet. However, merchandise that has recently undergone an overhaul or repair cannot be repurchased on an ATA carnet.

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Permitted reasons for use

  • professional equipment
  • containers, palettes, packaging, merchandize, and other items used in connection with a commercial operation
  • goods imported as part of a production process
  •  goods imported for educational, scientific, or cultural purposes
  •  traveler's personal effects and merchandise brought in for sporting purposes
  •  tourism promotion materials
  •  merchandise brought in through border crossings
  •  merchandise brought in for humanitarian purposes transportation methods
  • animals
  •  products imported with partial suspension of import duties and charges

Specific requirements must be met for each of these motives in order to receive full exoneration. For instance, the professional equipment must only be used by the person who is returning to the country of importation or under their own supervision.

If the destination country abides by one of the treaties governing the ATA, the carnet may be used for temporary exportations of common goods. Additionally, it is permitted to use the ATA Carnet as the sole method of temporary export to nations that have not ratified the ATA/Istanbul Conventions. Due to the fact that the carnet cannot be used in some countries (see list), operators will be required to complete all temporary importation formalities specified by destination state regulations when the goods arrive. The Community's douane territory is reimported using the portion designated for this purpose.

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Using the ATA carnet for transportation operations

Using ATA carnet transportation operationsIf the countries being crossed are signatories to one of the conventions, the carnet ATA may be used as a transit document for goods that are temporarily being exported from the United States but temporarily need to travel through another country in order to reach their destination. It may also be used for goods being imported from other countries that are only traveling across the common border.

It will also be used as a transportation document:
- when the entry office is unable to determine whether all requirements for the temporary admission regime have been met.
- when the temporary admission regime is approved by a bureau of re-exportation rather than a bureau of departure.

Prior to any operation, the operator must present the carnet and the merchandise to the nearest customs office so that the merchandise can be identified and the carnet may be recorded. As a result, as operations progress, the owner of the carnet is required to present new merchandise and the carnet to the relevant customs authorities both at the entry and exit of a new territory.

These carnet take-charge formalities must typically be completed in active customs offices and during the times that these offices are open for business operations.

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