What is an ATA Carnet?
An ATA Carnet, often referred to as a “merchandise passport,” is an international customs document that simplifies the temporary import or export of goods for business purposes. It allows you to move your merchandise across borders without the need to pay customs duties and taxes or complete complex customs paperwork.
Uses of a Carnet
ATA Carnets are primarily used for three main purposes:
- Trade Shows and Exhibitions: ATA Carnets are invaluable for businesses participating in international trade fairs, exhibitions, or events. They allow the temporary import and re-export of products, samples, and equipment.
- Professional Equipment: Professionals like photographers, film crews, and engineers can use ATA Carnets to temporarily import their equipment into a foreign country for work projects, ensuring a hassle-free customs process.
- Commercial Samples: Companies can use ATA Carnets to send product samples to potential clients or partners abroad without incurring customs duties or taxes.
Goods Covered by a Carnet
ATA Carnets typically cover a wide range of goods, including:
- Commercial samples
- Professional equipment (e.g., cameras, tools)
- Exhibition and display materials
- Scientific and laboratory equipment
- Vehicles for sporting events
Applying for an ATA Carnet in the UK
Obtaining an ATA Carnet in the United Kingdom involves the following steps:
- Contact a Local Chamber of Commerce: ATA Carnets in the UK are issued by accredited chambers of commerce. Contact your nearest chamber to initiate the application process.
- Provide Documentation: You will need to provide detailed information about your goods, including their descriptions, values, and intended use. You may also need to provide proof of your identity and the purpose of temporary export or import.
- Pay Fees: There are costs associated with obtaining an ATA Carnet, including application fees and a security guarantee (discussed below).
- Security Guarantee: As part of the process, you will be required to provide a security guarantee to cover any potential customs duties and taxes in case the goods are not re-exported as per the terms of the Carnet.
- Carnet Issuance: Once your application is approved and all requirements are met, the chamber of commerce will issue you an ATA Carnet, which includes all necessary customs documentation.
Information Required for Submitting an ATA Carnet Application:
To successfully apply for an ATA Carnet in the United Kingdom, you will need to provide the following essential information and documentation:
- Detailed Description of Goods:
- Accurate and comprehensive descriptions of the goods you intend to temporarily export or import. Include information such as quantity, type, brand, model, and serial numbers if applicable.
- Value of Goods:
- The commercial value of the goods being transported. This value is essential for customs authorities to determine any potential customs duties and taxes if the goods are not re-exported.
- Intended Use:
- Specify the purpose of the temporary export or import. For example, if the goods are for a trade show, state the name and date of the event. If they are professional equipment, provide details of the projects they will be used for.
- Countries of Destination and Return:
- Clearly identify the countries where the goods will be temporarily exported and the planned date of return.
- Proof of Identity:
- Valid identification documents for the applicant or company representative, such as a passport or driver’s license.
- Supporting Documents:
- Depending on the nature of the goods and the purpose of the temporary export or import, you may be required to provide additional documentation, such as invoices, contracts, or event invitations.
- Transportation Details:
- Information about the transportation method, including details about the carrier, the route, and the expected transportation dates.
- Security Guarantee*:
- Prepare the necessary financial guarantee, which may be in the form of a bank guarantee or a cash deposit. The amount of the guarantee will be based on the customs duties and taxes applicable to the goods if they are not re-exported.
- Contact Information:
- Provide accurate contact details, including an email address and phone number, so that the chamber of commerce can reach you for any updates or inquiries.
- Carnet Processing Fee:
- Be prepared to pay the application fee associated with processing and issuing the ATA Carnet.
It’s important to work closely with a trusted Customs Agent to ensure that all required information and documentation are provided accurately and in a timely manner. This will help expedite the application process and ensure that your goods can move smoothly through customs when using the ATA Carnet.
*Security Guarantee: The security guarantee is a key component of the ATA Carnet process. It serves as a financial guarantee to customs authorities that the goods will be re-exported within the specified timeframe and in the same condition as when they were initially imported. The amount of the guarantee is based on the customs duties and taxes that would be applicable if the goods were not re-exported. This guarantee is usually provided in the form of a bank guarantee or a cash deposit.
In summary, an ATA Carnet is a valuable tool for businesses engaged in temporary international trade activities. It simplifies customs procedures, reduces financial risks, and facilitates the smooth movement of goods across borders. To obtain an ATA Carnet in the UK, businesses should reach out to their local chamber of commerce or a trusted Customs Agent like Customs Complete