What is an ATA Carnet?
A Carnet (pronounced “kar-nay”), otherwise known as an ATA Carnet (“ATA” is an acronym combining the French/English terms “Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission”) is an international customs document that provides duty and tax free customs clearance for temporary imports into foreign countries. ATA Carnets are valid on multiple trips for up to one year.
ATA Carnets eliminate the need to post a financial guarantee such as a Temporary Import Bond. Recognized in over 100 destinations, ATA Carnets can be used for virtually all types of goods, whether hand-carried or cargo-shipped.
A broad range of merchandise that might be imported into a country upto one year, and then returned to it the original country without alteration can be covered by ATA Carnets. If you need to temporarily bring product samples into another country for a trade show, for example, you can use an ATA Carnet to import them without paying import duties. Items such as trade show booth equipment, personal computers, satellites, industrial machinery, diagnostic equipment, jewelry, photographic and video equipment, repair tools, live animals, rare gems, vehicles, etc. are all frequently temporarily imported and can benefit from ATA Carnets. To see what items are NOT covered by ATA Carnets, however, see the FAQ “What can go on an ATA Carnet”.