ATA Carnet FAQs

 

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Carnets:

Obtaining and Using a U.S. Carnet:

  1. What options do I have if I am taking goods out of the country and planning to return them?
  2. Why must a security deposit be provided?
  3. How specific do the descriptions need to be on the General List?
  4. Some items on my Carnet will travel to country A and others to country B a week later. Do I need multiple Carnets?
  5. Who in my company should sign section “F. obligation” on the application and the General List?
  6. How to use ATA Carnet in EU Countries?
  7. Are there specific regulations for goods entering India?
  8. Are there specific regulations for goods entering China?
  9. Do I still need an export License when using a carnet?
  10. I need to move goods out of the U.S. , but do not have a legal residence or Taxpayer ID in the U.S. Is it possible to obtain a U.S. Carnet?
  11. I am checking my Carnet goods with my baggage to leave the U.S. Where do I get my Carnet stamped?

Avoiding a Claim on a U.S. Carnet – Cancellation and Claims

  1. When do I return the Carnet?
  2. To where do I return the Carnet?
  3. My Carnet is still valid, but I have used all the counterfoils and vouchers. What should I do?
  4. We have lost our Carnet. What shall we do?
  5. I received a duplicate Carnet after I lost the original. The duplicate was sent back to you so why do I still receive reminder letters?
  6. Can I sell the goods under Carnet?
  7. I have a U.S. Carnet, but the goods will not leave before it expires. What do I do?
  8. My Carnet was never used. Do I still return it?
  9. Are there restrictions on Items with jade and rubies from Myanmar?

Using a Foreign Carnet in the U.S.

  1. What if I don’t get my carnet stamped leaving the country?
  2. My goods need to stay in the U.S. beyond Carnet expiration. What are my options?
  3. May I use a foreign Carnet to enter Puerto Rico, Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands?
  4. I would like to sell my goods imported into the U.S. on foreign-issued Carnet. How should I proceed?
  5. Are there restrictions on items with jade and rubies from Myanmar?
  6. Can I bring a vehicle into the U.S. under a foreign-issued Carnet?
  7. I am checking my Carnet goods with my baggage to leave the U.S. Where do I get my Carnet stamped?

General Information:

  1. What do the acronyms ATA and TECRO/AIT represent?
  2. What is the Origin of the ATA Carnet System?
  3. How do I learn about the Carnets around the world?
  4. How does the new Electronic Export Information filing requirement impact your ATA Carnet?


Obtaining and Using a U.S. Carnet

  1. What options do I have if I am taking goods out of the country and planning to return them?
    All countries have procedures allowing for the temporary importation of goods for across their borders. Such importations are generally valid for less than 12 months Importers may choose from three options when considering a temporary importation: (1) Duty refund, (2) Temporary importation under bond (TIB), and (3) Carnet.

    • Duty refund is the process by which an importer registers the goods at the time of entry, and deposits the applicable duties and taxes. In Europe, duty and taxes range from 20-30%, Australia 50%, China 40%, of the value of the goods. (Check VAT chart for details.) At the time of departure, the exporter presents the goods and appropriate paperwork to a customs inspector. Exporters can expect to receive a full refund of the duties and taxes posted at some future point. (For Europe, refunds are generally made 2-6 months after departure. Payments are made in local currency, e.g., South African Rand.)
    • To use a TIB, importers are required to secure the TIB from a customhouse broker at the time of entry into the foreign country. The purchase of a TIB is required for each country visited on every trip. Fees for TIBs vary widely.
    • Carnets: May be used for unlimited exits from and entries into the U.S. and foreign countries; are accepted in over 85 countries and territories worldwide; eliminate value-added taxes (VAT), duties, and the posting of security normally required at the time of importation; and simplify customs procedures. Carnets allow temporary exporters to use a single document for all customs transactions, make arrangements in advance, and at a predetermined cost. Carnets facilitate reentry into the U.S. by eliminating the need to register goods with U.S. Customs at the time of departure.

  2. Why must a security deposit be provided?
    The ATA Carnet conventions require it. Equally important, security deposits provide financial stability to the ATA system. There is one designated Guaranteeing Association in each country where Carnets are accepted. The role of the Guaranteeing Association is to guarantee the payment of duties and taxes to customs authorities (both domestic and foreign) that present valid claims. In the case of the U.S., the USCIB must pay all valid claims (resulting from Carnets originating in the U.S.) to foreign authorities and to U.S. Customs on all foreign Carnets.
  3. How specific do the descriptions need to be on the General List?
    The more specific the better, as customs has the right to stop goods from entering its border for lack of adequate description. Include serial numbers or model numbers whenever possible. An imprecise or incomplete description may cause a customs inspector to question the importation (or re-exportation) and possibly seize the goods.
  4. Some items on my Carnet will travel to country A and others to country B a week later. Do I need multiple Carnets?
    Not necessarily, split shipments are possible. Depending on amount of time between the two shipments a second Carnet may be advised. Call your Carnet Service Bureau for details.
  5. Who in my company should sign section “F. Obligation” on the application and the General List?
    It would have to besomeone who possesses the authority to obligate the company to payment of duties and taxes should they come due.
  6. How to use ATA Carnet in EU countries?
    The twenty seven members of the European Union (EU) are one customs union and are noted as such on the green cover of your carnet. Customs documentation is not required when traveling between/among EU states. Assuming carnet goods are traveling by vehicle from the UK through France and Spain and departing from the EU from Portela airport in Lisbon, the goods will only be subject to two customs clearances, one in England and one in Portugal. The carnet importation counterfoil and voucher should be validated upon arrival at Heathrow airport in the England and then again at departure in Portugal where the re-exportation sheets should be stamped.Please keep in mind that Switzerland and Norway are not members of the EU and thus customs clearance would be required for either/both.
  7. Are there specific regulations for goods entering India?
    India will only accept goods under Carnet if the intended use is for exhibitions and fairs, and generally allows the goods to remain in India for six months.
  8. Are there specific regulations for goods entering China?
    China will only accept goods under Carnet if the intended use is for exhibitions and fairs, and generally allows the goods to remain in China for six months.
  9. Do I still need an export license when using a Carnet?
    Yes, please click here for more details.
  10. I need to move goods out of the U.S. , but do not have a legal residence in the U.S. Is it possible to obtain a U.S. Carnet?
    In most Instances, it is not possible to obtain a U.S. Carnet without a legal residence and Taxpayer ID. To discuss your specific circumstances contact Glendy Sung at 212.703.5073 or gsung@uscib.org.
  11. I am checking my Carnet goods with my baggage to leave the U.S. Where do I get my Carnet stamped?
    Present your Carnet and goods to U.S. Customs before checking in your baggage and boarding your flight, even if it connects at another U.S. city. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has recently ruled that Carnets should be stamped out of the U.S. (export or re-export) where the Carnet holder last had control of the goods and is not able to come into contact with them until they have arrived at the final foreign destination.For example, a U.S. company is going to show some samples listed on an ATA Carnet to a potential customer in the U.K. The Carnet holder has a flight from Dallas to New York, connecting to a New York-Heathrow flight. He would present his goods and Carnet at U.S. Customs at Dallas for export validation before checking in his luggage with the air carrier through to London.The policy decision by U.S. Customs is based on CBP Directive 3280-013B and Muster Topic (#CCS-FY12-0031) dated 10/17/2011 in conjunction with the Office of Field Operations.

Avoiding a Claim on a U. S. Carnet – Cancellation and Claims

  1. When do I return the Carnet?
    The Carnet should be returned after its final use or immediately after its expiration whichever comes first.
  2. To where do I return the Carnet?
    The Carnet holder should make and keep a clear copy of the whole Carnet booklet (all used and even un-used sheets), and return the original via receipted mail to the company that issued you the Carnet.
  3. My Carnet is still valid, but I have used all the counterfoils and vouchers. What should I do?
    If you need to make additional trips with your Carnet, you may apply for additional sets of counterfoils and vouchers by simply contacting the company that issued the Carnet for assistance in obtaining additional sets. The cost is $20 per set (minimum charge is $75.) plus shipping and handling. This fee includes up to four sets of yellow, white or blue counterfoils and their corresponding vouchers.
  4. We have lost our Carnet. What shall we do?
    Call the office that issued your Carnet. If you wish, a duplicate will be issued. Additional fees will apply.
  5. I received a duplicate Carnet after I lost the original. The duplicate was sent back to you, so why do I still receive reminder letters?
    In order to cancel a Carnet, both the duplicate and the original must be returned. Carnets not returned will be considered “open”. Security deposits on “open” Carnets will not be returned or cancelled until 13 months after Carnet expiration, and reminder letters are generated on any Carnet not returned.
  6. Can I sell the goods covered under Carnet?
    Carnets should be used for goods NOT intended for sale. However, it is possible to sell off a Carnet. In addition to the payment of duties and taxes, goods sold off Carnet are subject to a penalty equal to 10% of the amount of the duties and taxes. A USCIB Claims Handling Fee may also apply.For goods sold off Carnet, it is recommended that you contact a local customs office to determine the procedure best suited to your circumstance. Some countries, e.g., U.K. and Australia tightly control the sale of goods off Carnet. Generally, local customs will request that the goods and Carnet be brought to the local office prior to Carnet expiration so that the Carnet may be properly discharged and duties, taxes, and penalty paid. BE SURE TO OBTAIN AN ITEMIZED CUSTOMS RECEIPT noting the: items sold, amount paid, and Carnet number. Send the original Carnet and a copy of the Customs receipt to the company that issued your Carnet. Be sure to retain a clear copy of the Carnet for your records.

  7. I have a U.S. Carnet, but the goods will not leave before it expires. What do I do?
    For goods that must remain in the foreign country beyond the Carnet expiration date, it may be possible to obtain a “replacement Carnet.” A replacement Carnet has a new Carnet number but contains the same General List as the original Carnet. The Replacement is typically good for one year. The Replacement and original Carnet are presented to foreign customs at which time the original is ‘closed’ and the Replacement is ‘opened’ thus allowing the goods to remain past the date of expiration on the original document. For details, contact the office that issued your Carnet at least 30 days before expiration.
  8. My Carnet was never used. Do I still have to return it?
    Yes, all Carnets must be returned even if they were never used. Carnets that are not returned will be considered “open” and thus, the associated security deposit will remain in effect until the time during which a customs claim may be submitted to USCIB has ended.
  9. Are there restrictions on items with jade and rubies from Myanmar?
    Yes, as of 1 October 2008, no rubies or jaderie of Burmese origin may be imported into the US, whether mounted or unmounted. Any such shipments will be seized upon importation by US Customs. If the rubies or jaderie were imported prior to the embargo and have not under gone any change since importation they may go on a US carnet as long as there is substantial proof to support this claim. This proof of importation must be presented with the carnet when exiting and re-entering the US.

Using a Foreign Carnet in the U.S.

  1. What if I don’t get my carnet stamped leaving the country?
    Please be advised that it is the carnet holder’s responsibility to have the carnet validated both in and out of the U.S. This means that if a U.S. Customs office has office hours before or after your flight, you must make arrangements to have the goods examined and carnet stamped. You can find the contact information for all ports of entry at: http://www.cbp.gov. If you fail to have your carnet validated for re-exportation and have your carnet stamped into a third country or upon re-importation before carnet expiration, you will be faced with a $50 regularization fee in the event of a claim issued later by U.S. Customs.If you fail to have your carnet validated for re-exportation and have any other form of foreign customs validation before carnet expiration (Landing Certificate, Certificate of Location, Waybill, Bill of Lading, etc.) you will be faced with a $100 regularization fee in the event of a claim issued later by U.S. Customs.
  2. My goods need to stay in the U.S. beyond Carnet expiration. What are my options?
    According to U.S. Customs regulations, foreign-issued Carnets may not be extended beyond expiration. Please note consumption entries are not allowed to discharge a Carnet entry. This may result in a second payment of duties on a claim made on the Carnet. However, to keep the merchandise in the U.S. beyond the expiration of the Carnet there are two options:

    1. File a T.I.B. (Temporary Importation under Bond / Temporary Import Bond) through a customs broker with U.S. Customs before the expiration of the Carnet. This will allow the merchandise to remain in the country for an additional year. The Carnet number must appear on the TIB paperwork and the merchandise description, weight, and value must be the same as those on the Carnet General List. The Carnet’s re-exportation voucher should be presented and validated by U.S. Customs referencing the TIB number and date. Copies of both bond and Carnet should be kept so that upon final re-exportation and re-importation into the country of issue, customs may clear the goods without unnecessary assessment of duties.
    2. Mitigation of duties may be afforded if the merchandise is re-exported after Carnet expiration:
      1. Re-exportation validated in the Carnet up to 90 days after Carnet expiration will result in the collection of 25% of the duty and 10% penalty within the case of a claim made on the Carnet, with a minimum of $50; or
      2. Re-exportation validated in the Carnet between 90 and 180 days after Carnet expiration will result in the collection of 50% of the duty and 10% penalty, with a minimum of $100.

      Goods re-exported 181 days after Carnet expiration are subject to the collection of the full amount of duty and 10% penalty.

  3. May I use a foreign Carnet to enter Puerto Rico, Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands?
    Foreign carnets may be used for entry into Puerto Rico, but not for Guam or the U.S. Virgin islands (St. John, St. Croix, or St. Thomas)
  4. I would like to sell my goods imported into the U.S. on a foreign-issued Carnet. How should I proceed?
    If the Carnet has not yet expired, contact, either directly or through customs broker, the Entry Team at the Customs port of importation and request an anticipatory breach of the Carnet.Documents required to accompany the anticipatory breach are:

    1. A letter on the Carnet holder letterhead itemizing the goods that will not be re-exported and requesting to pay liquidated damages
    2. Copy of the front cover of the Carnet, the General List, and the Importation Counterfoil validated by U.S. Customs.

    Once a case number is issued by U.S. Customs and payment received, a receipt referencing the U.S. Customs Case number should be sufficient to discharge the items in the U.S.

    If the Carnet has already expired, contact the U.S. Customs Claim Examiner at USCIB Headquarters to see if a claim for duties has already been issued by U.S. Customs or to have a claim issued for the items not re-exported.

    Please note that effective February 2011, the port of JFK International Airport has ceased to accept anticipatory breaches of Carnets and will only accept such requests after Carnet expiration.

  5. Are there restrictions on items with jade and rubies from Myanmar?
    Yes, as of 1 October 2008, no rubies or jaderie of Burmese origin may be imported into the US, whether mounted or unmounted. Any such shipments will be seized upon importation by US Customs.
  6. Can I bring a vehicle into the U.S. under a foreign-issued Carnet?
    If your Vehicle will be used as a sample (show/exhibit) or professional equipment (driven in a race/rally), you may import it into the U.S. temporarily under Carnet. If it will be driven on the roads, the vehicle will need to conform to DOT (Department of Transportation) and EPA (Environment Protection Agency) emissions standards prior to importation, unless it is a non-conforming vehicle: please see a licensed customs broker/forwarder for details. Please note also that U.S. Customs ports have their own policies regarding the acceptance of vehicles under Carnet.
  7. I am checking my Carnet goods with my baggage to leave the U.S. Where do I get my Carnet stamped?
    Present your Carnet and goods to U.S. Customs before checking in your baggage and boarding your flight, even if it connects at another U.S. city. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has recently ruled that Carnets should be stamped out of the U.S. (export or re-export) where the Carnet holder last had control of the goods and is not able to come into contact with them until they have arrived at the final foreign destination.For example, a Canadian company participates in a trade show in Las Vegas with goods under an ATA Carnet. When departing Las Vegas, the Carnet goods will connect through Los Angeles en route to the final destination of Vancouver. In this case, the Carnet holder should present his Carnet and goods at U.S. Customs in Las Vegas for re-export validation before checking in the luggage with the airlines through to Canada.The policy decision by U.S. Customs is based on CBP Directive 3280-013B and Muster Topic (#CCS-FY12-0031) dated 10/17/2011 in conjunction with the Office of Field Operations.

General Information

  1. What do the acronyms ATA and TECRO/AIT represent?
    The initials ATA are an acronym of the French and English words Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission. TECRO is the acronym for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO) and AIT is for the American Institute in Taiwan. They represent the contracting parties to this agreement between the U.S. andTaiwan.
  2. What is the origin of the ATA Carnet System?
    To encourage world trade by reducing the obstacles caused byvarying national customs regulations, the Customs Co-operation Council, now the World Customs Organization adopted in December, 1961, the “Customs Convention on the ATA Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods.” Carnets are issued and guaranteed by national groups, which administer the ATA Carnet System under a set of conditions established by the International Bureau of Chambers of Commerce (IBCC). The IBCC is sponsored by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris. Customs authorities in over 85 countries and territories accept the Carnet as a guarantee that all duties and taxes will be paid if the Carnet is misused.The U.S. Council for International Business has managed the ATA Carnet System in the United States since its appointment by the U.S. Customs Service in 1968. The U.S. issues over 17,000 Carnets per year, covering goods valued at over 2 billion dollars.
  3. How do I learn about Carnets around the world?
    Visit the website of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), www.iccwbo.org.
  4. How does the new Electronic Export Information filing requirement impact your ATA Carnet?
    Effective April 5, 2014, and as a result of changes to the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), many exemptions that existed for ATA Carnet are greatly curtailed. These changes cover both U.S. and foreign ATA Carnets, as well as those coming from and going to Taiwan (TECRO/AIT). For a complete guide to the new FTR export requirements click here.

Staff Contact:   Andrew Shiles

Senior VP, ATA Carnet and Trade Services
Tel: 212.703.5079

Former FedEx executive and cargo industry veteran Andrew Shiles leads USCIB’s portfolio of trade services, including the “merchandise passports” used by thousands of exporters around the world to get goods through customs quickly and easily. Shiles works to expand U.S. trade interests through promotion of the ATA Carnet program. Shiles comes to USCIB following more than 30 years at FedEx Express, the world’s largest air express cargo company, most recently as global regulatory compliance manager, where he served on USCIB’s Customs and Trade Facilitation Committee. His leadership experience in global supply-chain management includes participation in U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Simplified Entry Working Group, which redesigned and implemented the current entry-clearance process into the United States.
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