ATA Carnets

What is an ATA Carnet?

  • The Carnet acts as a transit document, allowing certain goods to be temporarily moved between countries without needing to pay customs duties or complete customs declarations.
  • The Carnet is a single, paper-based document, shown to customs along with the goods when entering or departing the EU customs territory. It is valid for 12 months and can be used unlimited times.

The ATA Carnet aims to facilitate trade by: 

  • Reducing the need for customs documents required to clear imported/ exported goods at the border.
  • Reducing the financial burden of customs charges due on goods.
  • Enabling repeated use of the Carnet within a 12 month validity period.

Which goods can be covered by an ATA Carnet?

Most non-perishable goods can travel under an ATA Carnet, including:

  • Sporting goods
  • Professional work equipment i.e laptops , sound equipment or cameras.
  • Educational, scientific or cultural goods.
  • Publicity materials i.e press releases, audio or visual materials, biographical notes.
  • Commercial samples or trials displayed at trade fairs or sales meetings i.e watches, jewellery, clothes.

 *In addition to the Carnet, travelers or businesses must carry an export license or permit for the good if necessary.

 *The list of goods covered by an ATA differs in each participating country. Check if your good is covered in the customs authorities of the destination    country.


Which goods are exempt from an ATA Carnet?

  • Perishable goods or goods that are consumed i.e food, seeds, fertilizers, pesticides
  • Alcohol, fuel or tobacco.
  • Goods that intend to be processed i.e altered or repaired.
  • Controlled goods i.e explosives, weapons or disposables.
  • Shipments that qualify under other allowances for paying no duty, or refunded duties
  • Items imported in the post.
  • The holder of the Carnet will have their name written on the front of the paper-based document, while representatives should have their name written in box B of the carnet.
  • The Carnet must be validated by customs at your point of entry by presenting the carnet and getting it stamped every time the good arrives in or departs a country or customs territory.
  • To replace a lost carnet, or renew your carnet you should contact your carnet supplier and the local customs authority before it expires.
  • If you want to add additional goods onto the carnet after it has been issued, you must apply for a new carnet.

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The information provided on this pages does not constitute legal advice and is subject to change in line with government rules and laws.  While BritCham will endeavour to keep the information on these pages as current as possible, we advise you to seek expert independent legal advice an any matters relevant to your situation.