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What is a Carnet? 



A Carnet or ATA Carnet is an international customs & temporary export-import document. It is used to clear customs in 84 participating countries without paying duties and import taxes on goods such as Samples, Professional Equipment, Goods for Fairs & Exhibitions  that will be re-exported within 12 months. Carnets are also known as Merchandise Passports or Passports for Goods.


TYPES OF CARNETS

In the U.S. there are two types of carnets issued: ATA and TECRO/AIT which are are used for temporary imports in Taiwan which only accepts the TECRO/AIT carnet.  ATA Carnets are used for the 84 other countries and that are members of the carnet system.


WHAT DO CARNETS ALLOW YOU TO DO?

Carnets facilitate temporary imports into foreign participating countries and re-importation into the U.S. By presenting an ATA Carnet documents to foreign customs, you pass duty free and import tax free into a participating carnet country for up to one year. ATA Carnets also serve as the U.S. Certificate of Registration of goods CBP-4455 upon re-importation.


WHAT IS COVERED BY A CARNET?

Most merchandise can be listed on a Carnet. Virtually all types of goods & equipment can be transported under the ATA Carnet:

  • Commercial Samples
  • Professional Equipment (Tools of the Trade)
  • Goods for Fairs & Exhibitions (limited to 6 months)

See complete list of merchadise acceptable with a carnet


WHAT MERCHANDISE IS NOT COVERED BY A CARNET?

Consumable items such as agricultural products (food, seeds, fertilizer, pesticides), explosives, disposables and postal traffic cannot travel under an ATA Carnet. 


WHAT COUNTRIES ARE MEMBERS OF THE CARNET SYSTEM?

There are 84 countries that are members of the carnet system  See a complete list of Carnet countries here.


HOW LONG IS A CARNET VALID FOR?

Carnets are valid for up to 1 year from its issue date except for Exhibitions & Fairs which is valid for 6 months from date of issue. Known exceptions to these validity periods are:

Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore

A U.S. or foreign customs official always has the right to limit the validity period on a carnet upon inspection although to do so is highly unusual.

The carnet can be used multiple times and in multiple countries during the period of validity. Split shipments are allowed however items cannot be added to the General List once the carnet is issued.

China only belongs to the Exhibitions & Fairs convention and therefore all carnets into China are limited to 6 months.


CAN A CARNET BE EXTENDED?

In some instances foreign customs may allow a replacement Carnet to be issued to extend the time the goods are in the carnet country. In all cases, the replacement carnet must be applied for prior to the expiration of the original carnet.


HOW CAN I OBTAIN A CARNET? 

A carnet can be issued and delivered to an applicant within 1 day, if the application is complete and approved by 4 p.m. Central time. Same day service is available for an additional charge. Obtaining a carnet takes 4, simple steps:

  • -Gather information listed on the application list
  • -Register online
  • -Log in to complete and submit the online carnet and bond application, then provide payment method and method of overnight delivery

HOW CAN I OBTAIN MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CARNETS?

To get more information about Carnets please call the CIB Carnet HelpLine  (800) ATA-2900/ (800)282-2900 or view discussions


 

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