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ATA Carnet a boon for exporters and exhibitors, September 3, 2012

A Workshop on ATA Carnet "Your visa for temporary export/ import of goods between international borders", was organized in the city by FICCI to inform and educate the exporter community about the benefits of using ATA Carnet. The workshop was inaugurated by Mr. Sandeep Prakash, Commissioner of Customs, Bangalore. Mr. Satish Kumar Reddy, Director (ICD), Ministry of Finance, New Delhi, made a special address to the participants highlighting the benefits of using ATA Carnet. Mr. K. Shiva Shanmugam, President, FKCCI, made a presentation on the subject.

ATA Carnet is a temporary admission document which simplifies the customs procedures and clearances in a foreign country, without paying duty or a bank guarantee for temporary import into that country. Like a passport for goods, ATA Carnet allows for the goods for which it was issued to enter any of the participating countries for up to one year. An ATA Carnet holder can avoid customs declaration and can do away with security deposit or guarantees in the country of importation. In India, FICCI is the sole National Guarantor for ATA Carnet (supported by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry).

ATA Carnet covers several areas for use including trade fairs, shows, exhibitions, meetings etc. for temporary export into a country which is a signatory to the conventions governing ATA Carnets. Goods must be re-exported out of every country and re-imported into India within a year. At present 71 countries recognize ATA Carnet, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Spain, UAE, UK and USA. Discussions are also being held with Taiwan to enter into a bilateral agreement on Carnet-like mechanism to facilitate temporary movement of goods between India and Taiwan.

The Government is actively considering to expand the scope of ATA Carnet convention. At present, India is a signatory to convention on exhibitors and fairs only. It is proposed to expand the same to cover commercial samples, professional equipment, private exhibitions, film shootings, musical troupes, sports and media coverage etc. FICCI, which is the National issuing and Guaranteeing Association (NIGA) for implementing ATA Carnets in India, is pursuing the matter with the Ministry of Finance for the expansion of scope of system to cover professional equipment and commercial samples.

Highlighting the benefits of ATA Carnet at the workshop, Mr. Nirankar Saxena, Senior Director FICCI stated, "FICCI—the National Issuing and Guaranteeing Association (NIGA) of Carnet is currently working on methodology and framework to include the import provision for professional equipments from foreign countries without creating revenue loss to the government". He exhorted the businessmen to avail of ATA carnet facility for hassle free business promotion.

S. Vijayalakshmi, Sr. Asst. Director, FICCI, in her presentation said that FICCI is the national issuing association for ATA-Carnet document and the process pattern is rigid before the document is approved. The processing is done in 48 hours and the ATA Carnet is valid for one year across 71 countries.