Frachtbox team

What Is An ATA Carnet?

Published 15 Jan 2021

What Is An ATA Carnet?

What Is An ATA Carnet?


ATA Carnet

The ATA Carnet, often referred to as the "Passport for goods", is an international customs document that permits the tax-free and duty-free temporary export and import of nonperishable goods for up to one year. It consists of unified customs declaration forms which are prepared ready to use at every border crossing point. It is a globally accepted guarantee for customs duties and taxes which can replace security deposit required by each customs authority. It can be used in multiple countries in multiple trips up to its one-year validity. The acronym ATA is a combination of French and English terms "Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission" The ATA carnet is now the document most widely used by the business community for international operations involving temporary admission of goods. It is jointly administered by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) through its World Chambers Federation.


Which Countries Acknowledge This Carnet?

Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antarctica, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Azores, Bahrain, Balearic Islands, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia& Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Canary Islands, Ceuta, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Corsica, Ivory Coast, Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Kazakhstan, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Madagascar, Madeira, Malaysia, Malta, Martinique, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Miquelon, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Reunion Islands, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Barthelemy, St. Martin, St. Pierre, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tasmania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Wallis Futuna Islands.


ATA Carnet Usage

The ATA Carnet allows the business traveller to use a single document for clearing certain categories of goods through customs in several countries without the deposit of import duties and taxes. The Carnet eliminates the need to purchase temporary import bonds. So long as the goods are re-exported within the allotted time frame, no duties or taxes are due. The main benefits can be summarized in: 

Failure to re-export all or some of the goods listed on the Carnet results in the payment of applicable duties and taxes. Failure to remit those duties results in a claim from the foreign customs service to the importer's home country.


What Are The Advantages Of The ATA Carnet?

Established under the ATA Convention and the Istanbul Convention as a trade facilitation tool, ATA Carnets cut red tape by simplifying and unifying customs border crossing regulations for temporary import and export.


With the ATA Carnet, exhibitors, salesmen, artists, athletes, TV crews, technicians, event participants and business travellers may:  

Goods Covered By The ATA Carnet

ATA Carnets cover the usual and unusual: computers, repair tools, photographic and film equipment, musical instruments, industrial machinery, vehicles, jewelry, clothing, medical appliances, aircraft, racehorses, artwork, prehistoric relics, ballet costumes and rock group sound systems. ATA Carnets do not cover perishable or consumable items, or goods for processing or repair.

Most common uses include but not limited to:

ATA Carnet Composition

The ATA Carnet comprises a front and back cover within which are counterfoils and vouchers for each country to be visited or transited. The vouchers act as receipts for entry and re-export in foreign countries and are kept by foreign customs officials. The counterfoils are stamped by the foreign customs services and act as the carnet holders receipt. ATA Carnets are in A4 paper format.

Customs authorities accept ATA Carnets in accordance with the scope of application that they ratified. The goods must not go through any changes while situated in the country of temporary importation. ATA Carnets do not cover perishable or consumable items, goods for processing or repair, or certain means of transportation defined under Annex C of the Istanbul Convention. ATA Carnets are widely welcomed by countries wishing to boost international cooperation and take full advantage of the global economy.