What is an ATA carnet?

The ATA Carnet is an international customs document used to ship temporarily goods between two or more countries without payment of normally applicable duties and taxes, including value-added taxes. 

If for some reason you dont re-export all goods listed on the ATA Carnet, you must pay the applicable duties.

The word ATA means “Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission.”


Why an ATA carnet?

Ata Carnet. The best way to move cargo between countries without paying duties

One of the most important documents that you need when shipping or transporting something is an ATA carnet. These are accepted in 83 countries and territories around the globe, making it easy to ship with ease.

The simple explanation of an ATA carnet is that it is a document that helps with international customs as well as imports/exports. Customs can be cleared with this document without having to pay duties or import taxes on the merchandise, as long as it will be re-exported within 12 months.

There are new countries added to the ATA carnet system each year, making it more affordable than ever to import and export around the globe. While it does last for 12 months, there are also extensions that can be obtained periodically.

Whether it is a trade show exhibit, a sample of something, or it is for professional equipment, it may be advantageous to have an ATA carnet in your possession. The more you know about them, the more they can help you – and save you money.


Example of an ATA carnet


Imagine you are a producer of motorbikes in US. And you want to go a fair in Spain, and the cargo will come back once the fair will finish. The ATA Carnet form will help you avoid loose time with customs formalities, pay duties and have a fast entry at Spain.

Spain freight forwarder will make customs clearance only with the ATA Carnet. No more document will need to proceed.
Once the fair has finished, same ATA Carnet document has to be presented to the customs in Spain to be re-exported. Customs will have the option to make the inspection of all the cargo to check if all the listed goods match with the ATA Carnet. Once checked and all is ok the cargo can departure. If not, import duties will be charged to the issue of ATA Carnet.


How to obtain one?


There is a four-step process involved with obtaining an ATA document. Once you have one, it doesn’t expire, so you can go through the process just once. It can be done entirely online, which can save you time through the application system. There is no renewal process involved, so it’s one of those documents that make it a must-have when you are in the import and export industry.

You can watch the video from the International Chamber of Commerce, or check how to obtain the ATA Carnet online.

If you have an ATA form in place, the documentation becomes a lot easier, getting your items through customs quickly.

If you have any doubt or you need a freight forwarder in Spain to handle your ATA Carnet please don’t doubt to contact us.