ATA carnet

ATA carnet
See also

ATA carnet (combination of terms “Admission Temporaire” - French and “Temporary Asmission” – English) is an internationally recognized customs document that is widely used for international operations which involve temporary admission of goods into foreign countries - that are part of the Carnet System. It can also be compared as a passport of goods that will be soon exported. Carnets admit the duty-free and the tax-free temporary importation of goods up to one year. ATA Carnets are very important tool for entrepreneurs doing business abroad.


Initiation of the Carnets started when the “Customs Convention on the ATA Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods” was adopted by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in 1961 which entered into force on 30 July 1963.

International Customs Conventions in force[edit]

Operating under the ATA Convention, The Customs conventions affiliated to the three main categories of goods:

  • Commercial samples (CS) - The GATT International Convention to allow the importation of advertising material and commercial samples (Geneva 1952)
  • Professional equipment (PE) - The CCC's Customs Convention which expedites the temporary importation of professional equipment (Brussels 1961)
  • Goods for presentation or use at trade fairs, shows, exhibitions or similar events (EF) - The CCC Customs Convention concerning facilities for the importation of goods for display or use at exhibitions, fairs, meetings or similar events (Brussels 1961).

These various Conventions are increasingly being replaced by international Customs Convention on temporary admission - the WCO Istanbul Convention. Over many years, the ATA Carnet system has spread from a few West European countries to most of the industrialized world, including a growing number of developing countries and emerging economies. More than 175 000 ATA Carnets are issued every year covering goods (valued at more than $25 billion).

Acceptable Carnet goods[edit]

Goods imported on a Carnet must qualify under one of three main categories: CS, PE or EF. Carnets are used by sellers and manufacturers so they can bring their merchandises - from jewelry, clothing to high tech equipment — into foreign countries. They can show them as commercial samples to potential customers or display at trade fairs and exhibitions. Almost all goods can be listed on a Carnet except items that will be used in the importing country, such as brochures and other promotional material; consumables, like food and paint; and goods being repaired, processed or leased. In summary, all items on a Carnet must leave the foreign country in the same condition in which they entered.

Benefits of the ATA Carnet[edit]

  • Carnets allow the duty-free and tax-free temporary importation of goods into foreign countries for up to one year
  • Carnets are stamped at the entry and exit points of each country visited. There is one document needed for temporary importations; there is no need for additional paperwork during the course

Exceptions: Goods requiring import or export permits, such as controlled and/or dangerous goods

  • Carnets eliminate the need to post a temporary importation bond (TIB) at every port and to arrange for its cancellation on exit.
  • Carnets reduce language barriers as most of the paperwork is completed in English once at the beginning of the travel year.
  • Carnets cover virtually all goods.

Exceptions: Consumables or disposable items and goods for repair and/or processing

Countries accepting Carnet[edit]

The ATA carnet can be used in 87 countries and territories from around the world:

Albania Algeria Andorra
Antarctica Aruba Australia
Austria* Azores (Portugal) Bahrain, Kingdom of
Balearic Islands (see Spain) Belarus Belgium*
Bosnia & Herzegovina Botswana Brazil
Bulgaria* Canada Canary Islands
Ceuta Chile China
Corsica (France) Côte d'Ivoire Croatia*
Curaçao Cyprus* Czech Republic*
Denmark* Estonia* European Union
Faroe Islands (Denmark) Finland* France*
French Guiana French Polynesia - Tahiti Germany*
Gibraltar Greece* Greenland (Denmark)
Guadeloupe (France) Guam Guernsey (United Kingdom)
Hong Kong Hungary* Iceland
India Indonesia Iran
Ireland* Isle of Man (United Kingdom) Israel
Italy* Ivory Coast see Côte d'Ivoire Japan
Jersey (United Kingdom) Kazakhstan Latvia*
Lebanon Lesotho (SACU) Liechtenstein (Admin by Switz.)
Lithuania* Luxembourg* Macao, China
Macedonia Madagascar Madeira (Portugal)
Malaysia Malta* Martinique
Mauritius Mayotte (France) Melilla (Spain)
Mexico Miquelon (France) Moldova
Monaco (Admin by France) Mongolia Montenegro
Morocco Namibia (SACU) Netherlands*
New Caledonia (France) New Zealand Norway
Pakistan Poland* Portugal*
Puerto Rico (USA) Qatar (eff 8/1/2018) Reunion Island (France)
Romania* Russia Senegal
Serbia Singapore Slovakia*
Slovenia* South Africa South Korea
Spain* Sri Lanka St. Barthelemy (France)
St. Martin/Sint Maarten St. Pierre (France) Swaziland (SACU)
Sweden* Switzerland Tahiti (France)
Taiwan Tasmania (Australia) Thailand
Tunisia Turkey Ukraine
United Arab Emirates United Kingdom* United States
Wallis & Futuna (France)

Source: Carnet Countries. Retrieved 2018-11-12

Countries ending with an asterisk are part of the European Union (EU). If goods are properly imported into one EU carnet country and re-exported from a second EU carnet country, the Carnet holder is unlikely to encounter any claims fees.

  • Iran is accepting carnets however US restrictions do not allow a US-issued carnet for Iran
  • Taiwan requires a separate carnet called a TECRO/AIT carnet.


Author: Katarzyna Górna