What Can (and Cannot) Go on an ATA Carnet?

ATA Carnets cover virtually all types of merchandise for commercial use, whether it’s ordinary goods used in the course of business or whether it’s something unique or exotic, such as a rare piece of art or live animals. Merchandise listed on an ATA Carnet typically fits into one or more of the three categories listed below.

Commercial Samples include any and all items which are temporarily imported for the purpose of demonstration or for the solicitation of orders. Examples might include a heart monitoring system, jewelry, fashion garments, pipes and fittings or goods to be exhibited at a foreign trade show or conference.

Professional Equipment is typically considered “tools of the trade” and include equipment or goods needed to work while in a foreign country. Examples include equipment for the press or for television; scientific, mining, engineering, electrical, surgical, entertainment and sporting equipment, such as racecars and boats; and exhibition booths used to display merchandise at trade shows.

Exhibitions, Fairs, and similar cultural events include trade, industrial, agricultural or crafts exhibitions, as well as fairs, world events, exhibitions for a charitable purpose or to promote learning, crafts, scientific or cultural activity, or religious knowledge or worship.


Exclusions: The ATA Carnet covers temporary exports only; it cannot be used for goods that will be consumed in another country such as handouts or pamphlets, food items, plants or other perishables. Personal cars with the intent to be driven on public roads cannot go on an ATA Carnet. ATA Carnets are good for a maximum of one year, meaning the items must be returned to the country of origin within that time period. Concerning items sent back for repairs (i.e. warranty repairs), while the value of the item temporarily imported might be tax-exempt, the value of the repair might be taxable, therefore such items would not qualify for an ATA Carnet. Please contact us for more information.

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