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Do you need to travel with equipment for exhibitions or professional purposes?
The ATA Carnet is an international Customs document that permits the temporary importation of your goods free of import tax or duties.

ATA Carnet FAQs

Here we hope to answer all your questions about Carnets, but please call us on +919999034355 or contact us for specific and speedy advice.


What is a Carnet?

The ATA Carnet is an International Customs document that permits Duty-Free Temporary Export & Re-Import of goods for up to one year. By presenting an ATA Carnet to foreign Customs, you pass duty free and tax free into a Carnet country. ATA Carnets also serve as the registration of goods in the country of origin for Re-Import free of duty.

The ATA documentation accompanying the goods bypasses the time-consuming task of completing numerous Customs documents for each individual country to be visited. The Carnet also provides a financial guarantee to Foreign Customs Officials that, in the event the goods which have been temporarily admitted are not Re-Exported, Import Duties and Taxes, as applicabke, shall be paid.

What are the advantages of using an ATA Carnet?

ATA Carnets cut costs to Exporters by eliminating Value-Added Tax (VAT) and Customs Duties.

  • Carnet holders are not required to post securities with customs.
  • Carnets simplify Customs border crossing and cut red tape by allowing Importers and Exporters to use a single document for all Customs Formalities.

Armed with an ATA Carnet, salesmen, exhibitors and other business travellers can:

  • Make advance customs arrangements at predetermined cost.
  • Visit more than one country.
  • Use their ATA Carnet for several trips during its one-year validity.
  • Return to their home country with their goods and without having to account for VAT & Duties.
What kinds of goods are covered?

Virtually all goods that are "tools of the trade" are covered by ATA Carnets in three broad categories:

  • Commercial samples.
  • Professional equipment (which is solely for use by, or under the personal supervision of the holder or his nominated representative).
  • Goods for presentation or use at trade fairs, shows, exhibitions and similar events.

This means almost anything: Computers, Tools, Photographic and Film Equipment, Musical Instruments, Industrial Machinery, Motor Vehicles, Jewellery, Clothing, Medical Appliances, Race Horses, Old Masters, Sound Systems or Aircrafts.

What goods are not covered?

Merchandise that does not qualify as "tools of the trade" is not eligible to be covered by an ATA Carnet. Carnets cannot be used for the following scenarios:

  • Goods to be sold or Hired out abroad for Financial Gain.
  • Perishable or Consumable Items (as they would not normally be re-exported).
  • Goods which are Temporarily Exported for Processing or Repairs.
  • Goods on which a CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) refund will be claimed.
  • The exportation of unaccompanied goods by post.
  • Equipment to be used for the construction, repair or maintenance of buildings or for earthmoving and similar projects.
Who can apply for and use a Carnet?

The ATA Carnet service is available to Business and Sales Representatives, Exhibitors at Trade Fairs and any travelling Professionals, such as Film Crews, Architects, Artists, Engineers, Entertainers, Photographers, Sports Teams.

A Carnet may be issued to a Company or Individuals who are permanent residents of the Country of Export.

It may be used by anybody provided the user has a letter from the named holder authorising such use. The holder may also allow an Agent to handle the Carnet through Customs on his behalf provided the Agent holds a Letter of Authority. In either eventuality, it is important that the Carnet States it can be used by 'Any Authorised Representative'

How much does an ATA Carnet cost?

Fees vary according to the value of the goods, the number of countries to be visited plus any additional costs for security, insurance or other services. Fees will always be a small fraction of the value of the goods covered by the Carnet.

Once you submit your application, we will contact you to discuss details and costs.

Which countries accept ATA Carnets?

The carnet can be used in over 60 countries and many territories around the world.

See the complete list of countries and territories below.

EUROPEAN COMMUNITY - As from 1st MAY 2004:

Austria Estonia Hungary Luxembourg Slovakia
Belgium Finland Ireland Malta Slovenia
Cyprus France Italy Netherlands Spain
Czech Republic Germany Latvia Poland Sweden
Denmark Greece Lithuania Portugal U.K.

N.B. These countries are members of the ATA Carnet Convention for the purpose of recognising the ATA Carnets issued outside the EU. The carnet is not required for travel to, from or between all these member states as above.


Algeria Hong Kong Mongolia Sri Lanka
Andorra Iceland Morocco Switzerland
Australia India New Zealand Taiwan
Bulgaria Israel Norway Thailand
Belarus Japan Romania Tunisia
Canada Korea, South Russia Turkey
Canary Islands* Lebanon Senegal UK & EU Countries
China FYR Macedonia Serbia U.S.A.
Cote D'Ivoire Malaysia Singapore  
Croatia Mauritius South Africa  

What information do you require?

Apart from your company details, here is what we need:

  1. Purpose for which your merchandise or equipment is being temporarily imported to another country (exhibition, professional use, commercial samples).
  2. Name(s) of individual(s) responsible for carnet documents while travelling.
  3. Full travel itinerary (transit and destination countries).
  4. Full list of merchandise or equipment (including model and serial numbers if applicable): number of items, values and serial numbers of merchandise or equipment that will be travelling.
  5. Desired date of delivery of your carnet document.
  6. Temporary Transit and Storage insurance information: Name of insurance company, expiration date of policy, policy limit. (If this is unavailable you may bypass this step and provide evidence of insurance at a later date.)
Can I add extra items to the Carnet list?

No. Once a carnet has been issued no extra items can be added to the list of goods.

How long is the ATA Carnet valid?

The ATA Carnet is valid for up to one year from its date of issue. During this period the carnet may be used for an unlimited number of exits and entries into foreign countries. The ATA Carnet will only cover goods that are returned to the Country of Export within 12 months.

Can I extend the validity of a Carnet?

No, but a new (replacement) Carnet may be arranged with a new fee, subject to the written Agreement of the Customs Authorities of the Country in question.

What if the ATA Carnet has expired?

No penalties or duties may be assessed in some countries for an expired carnet while in some Governments (including India) may assess penalties if the carnet expires before the equipment is Re-Exported from that country.

What happens if I lose my Carnet?

A substitute Carnet may be issued which will have the same details as the original, but an additional fee will apply. Alternatively, the goods covered by the lost or stolen Carnet may be entered to Temporary Importation.

Under what circumstances might a claim be filed?

A claim consists of a notice issued by the Customs Authority of a Foreign Country in cases where there is no record that merchandise was Re-Exported. Examples of this would be:

  • Where the Carnet vouchers have not been properly validated by the Customs.
  • Where goods and/or Carnet have been lost, stolen, or destroyed.
  • Where there is an improper or inadequate description of the merchandise on the general list.
  • Where goods have not been Re-Exported in a timely fashion.
What is contained in an ATA Carnet document?

The Carnet document has a green cover page which provides the names of the Carnet holder and issuing Association, the dates of issue and expiry, the Carnet Number, the countries in which the Carnet may be used. A complete description of the goods covered is printed on the reverse.

This is followed by pairs of vouchers, for each Customs frontier or border to be crossed. These are colour-coded for use by the various Customs authorities: yellow for the country of departure and return (usually in most of Carnet Countries); white for foreign Customs, and blue for transit only. The number of pages of each type is pre-determined at the time of issue of the Carnet.

Each sheet is accompanied by a corresponding counterfoil, which remains in the carnet and describes the actions taken by Customs officers each time goods enter or leave a country; the actual page being detached and retained by the Customs Authority.

The information from the font cover (including the List of Goods), is repeated on each voucher, or page.

How does the ATA Carnet system work?

The ATA Carnet is a simple International Customs Document with a pair of pages, or vouchers, for presentation to the Customs of each foreign country you wish to visit, and a pair of vouchers for presentation to Customs when leaving and returning to your home country. The Carnet is reviewed for completeness and accuracy and the goods are examined to ensure that they match the Carnet list.

It is the responsibility of the Carnet user, or his Agent, to present the Carnet to the Customs Authorities when entering or leaving a country in order that the necessary verification and certification of the appropriate vouchers and counterfoils can take place. Failure to do so may result in a claim being made. A claim is a notice from a Customs Authority of the country of Import that a violation of the Carnet System has occurred and payment of duties, taxes, and penalties are required. These are payable on demand, under the terms of the Bond, or Guarantee.

How did the ATA Carnet system start?

In December 1961, to facilitate international trade, the Customs Co-Operation Council now known as the World Customs Organisation (WCO) adopted , the "Customs Convention on the ATA Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods." The purposes was to reduce the obstacles caused by varying national customs regulations. The initials "ATA" are an acronym of the French and English words "Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission."

Each country in the system has a single guaranteeing body approved by the national customs authorities and the ICC World Chambers Federation. The World Customs Organisation (WCO) administers the international customs conventions under which the ATA Carnet system operates.

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.

The ATA international guarantee chain provides reciprocal guarantees assuring customs administrators that duties and taxes due in case of misuse will be paid - for example the sale instead of re-export of the goods.

Over the past 40 years the Carnet System has spread from a few western European countries to cover most of the industrialised world and a growing number of emerging economies. In 2000, approximately 200,000 ATA Carnets were issued world-wide covering goods valued at almost US$12 billion.

How do I apply for a Carnet?
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