New York, N.Y., April 18, 2013 – The Indian Ocean nation of Madagascar, well known as home to lemurs but also a potentially important destination for U.S. exports and travel, will adopt the ATA Carnet for temporary exports, effective April 22.
The move enables travelers to ship a variety of goods in and out of the country temporarily without paying import duties or taxes, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which administers and guarantees the Carnet system in the U.S.
“While a minor U.S. trading partner right now, we think Madagascar’s growing reputation as a destination for exotic animal and fashion photography will make using Carnets very appealing,” said Cynthia Duncan, USCIB’s senior vice president for trade services. “Professional equipment like that used by photographers is one of the categories of goods covered by a Carnet.”
USCIB, a private, pro-trade group based in New York, administers the ATA Carnet system in the United States. Worldwide, the system is managed jointly by the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Customs Organization. In 2012, the most recent year for which worldwide figures are available, over 150,000 Carnets were issued, covering goods worth more than $17 billion (U.S.)
Beginning next week, those visiting Madagascar may bring product samples, professional equipment and goods for display at trade shows into the country duty-free and tax-free. Carnets are good for one year and can be used in any of the 80-plus countries and customs territories that honor them. Visit www.merchandisepassport.org for details.
Joining the Carnet system is part of Madagascar’s drive for better access to world trade, notably through regional integration and the development of tourism. ATA Carnets will provide a practical tool to foster such integration.
Madagascar is a member of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the largest regional economic organization in Africa, with 19 member states and a population of about 390 million. COMESA has a free trade area, with 14 member states, and launched a customs union in 2009.
USCIB promotes open markets, competitiveness and innovation, sustainable development and corporate responsibility, supported by international engagement and regulatory coherence. Its members include U.S.-based global companies and professional services firms from every sector of our economy, with operations in every region of the world. With a unique global network encompassing leading international business organizations, including ICC, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide, and works to facilitate international trade and investment.
USCIB’s Trade Services include: ATA Carnet, commonly known as the Merchandise Passport, which allows goods to enter over 85 customs territories tax- and duty-free for up to one year; eCertificates of Origin, fully electronic processing of Certificates of Origin, returned to you by e-mail, fast and complaint with ICC Guidelines for Certificates of Origin; and the USCIB International Bookstore, which enables customers to learn international business through unique titles covering a range of topics.
Elizabeth Cafaro, USCIB