The ATA Carnet System is a perfect illustration of how close co-operation between business and customs can facilitate and stimulate international trade. The ATA Carnet operates under International Customs Conventions administered by the World Customs Organisation(WCO). A World ATA Carnet Council manages the system in cooperation with the WCO.
Within the ICC World Chambers Federation, the World ATA Carnet Council (WATAC) runs the ATA system and its international guarantee chain. The Council is made up of representatives from the countries and territories where Carnets are issued and accepted.
Each country in the system has a single guaranteeing body approved by the national customs authorities and the ICC World Chambers Federation (Until June 2001, the International Bureau of Chambers of Commerce). The WCF is sponsored by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris.
The national guaranteeing association is entitled to issue Carnets and to authorize local chambers on the national territory to deliver them on its behalf. In major trading nations, dozens of local chambers have that authority.
The ATA international guarantee chain provides reciprocal guarantees assuring customs administrations that duties and taxes due in case of misuse will be paid.
The ATA Carnet is a simple customs document which is readily made out by the holder and checked by the customs.
For business people the ATA Carnet provides a simple and speedy way to travel abroad with business materials. It saves both time and money and this is a very important factor in international competition.
Trade circles, guaranteeing associations and customs administrations all acknowledge the excellent operation of the ATA Carnet System.
For the customs, the use of the ATA Carnet entails less administrative work and increased customs safety since the payment of import duties and taxes is guaranteed by the guaranteeing association affiliated to the WCF/ATA guarantee chain in the territory of the temporary admission.
The guarantee is automatic and the customs need not check its validity for each Carnet. In addition, the system does not affect the revenue of the nation since the goods covered by the ATA Carnets are intended for re-exportation and not at all for sale in the country of temporary admission. The system is "self-policing" in that should the Carnet holder fail to re-export the goods within the period of validity of the Carnet, duties become payable.
The main categories of goods temporarily imported under cover of ATA Carnets are the following :
Antiques, machinery, machine-tools, catering equipment, canned food, footwear, toys, computers, office equipment, transformers, electric generators, electrical/electronic and scientific equipment, surgical and dental equipment, jewellery and articles of precious metal/stones, "hi-fi", audio-visual, photographic and filming equipment, lasers, musical instruments and records, display material, aircraft, films, motor vehicles and accessories, racing engine machinery, heating and lighting equipment, agricultural machinery, furniture, crockery, paintings and other works of art, umbrellas, race-horses, suitcases, perfume, theatrical effects and sets, concert and musical instruments, leather and sports goods, clothing, yachts and boats, display stands.
The ATA Carnet service is available to business and sales executives, exhibitors at trade fairs and raveling professionals, such as film crews, architects, artists, engineers, entertainers, photographers, sports teams and many more.
Large companies, small companies, individuals on the move - all can benefit. Sales representatives with valuable samples and people with professional equipment are the largest users.
Virtually all goods can be included on a Carnet.
Rules and regulations vary from country to country. You are advised to communicate directly with respective customs authorities prior to your travels. This is provided as general information only.
Items which are excluded from the ATA Carnet System :
Perishable goods and items such as paint, cleaning materials, food, oils, leaflets and brochures, which are considered as "consumable items" and intended to be given away, disposed of, or utilized abroad, are excluded from the system as they would not ordinarily be re-exported.
Also excluded from the ATA Carnet system are the following :
Since all goods accompanied by an ATA carnet are thus covered by the international surety furnished by the guaranteeing/issuing Chambers, no further action regarding the guarantee need to be taken, either by the customs or by the importer at the time of temporary admission.
Thus, for businessmen the ATA Carnet does away with the need for the deposit of a personal or real guarantee at the border point of each country of temporary admission.
As the ATA Carnet constitutes at the same time the temporary admission document and the proof of the customs security for temporary admission it considerably simplifies and expedites the accomplishment of the formalities for temporary admission for both the Carnet holder and the customs: no further customs document needs to be completed nor any other security produced upon arrival in the territory of temporary admission.
This is particularly useful if the holder of the ATA Carnet intends to import goods temporarily into various countries in the course of the same journey (e.g. if a commercial traveler wishes to show samples to a number of potential buyer in different countries).
There are many other cases where this facility is of advantage to the holder of an ATA Carnet.
In addition, the system does not affect revenue of the nation since the goods covered by the ATA Carnets are intended for re-exportation and not at all for sale in the country of temporary admission. The system is "self-policing" in that, should the Carnet holder fail to re-export the goods within the period of validity of the Carnet, duties become payable.