With use of the ATA Carnet service for temporary exports declining along with overall U.S. trade, USCIB is taking a number of steps to strengthen the worldwide Carnet system, and we are reaching out to new partners to ensure it can rebound once the recession is over.
ATA Carnets are export documents that permit duty-free, tax-free entry of various types of goods into 65 countries and their territories for up to one year. Overall, Carnet usage is down between 10 and 20 percent worldwide. USCIB is doing its part to maintain the health of the global system despite the economic downturn.
On April 6 and 7, we hosted the meeting of the Executive Committee of the World ATA Carnet Countries at our offices in Midtown Manhattan. Topics for discussion included potential new member countries, including Brazil, promoting Carnet use worldwide, and the possible impact of the U.S. “10+2” rules. The meetings concluded with celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Carnets in the United States by enjoying a few of New York’s classic landmarks.
Carnets are especially useful for taking goods to overseas trade shows, for product demonstration and for transporting professional equipment. The system is overseen by the World Customs Organization and the International Chamber of Commerce. USCIB is the national guaranteeing association in the United States, and we issue Carnets for U.S. exporters directly from our New York headquarters and via a network of service providers nationwide.
Also in April, USCIB’s Amanda Barlow visited U.S. export assistance centers in Los Angeles and San Francisco, explaining how Carnets help U.S. exporters get their goods into foreign markets, while Christopher Gillard organized training sessions for some 80 U.S. Customs officers-ud-736-UD-736 at Los Angeles International Airport. Meanwhile, USCIB exhibited for the third consecutive year at the National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of America’s annual conference, providing excellent visibility and forging strong relationships with this important segment of the trade community.
During World Trade Week In May, the 40th anniversary of the ATA Carnet system in the United States was marked as USCIB was awarded the Department of Commerce’s export appreciation award at a well attended breakfast in New York. “Companies of all sizes use Carnets to operate smoothly across borders,” said USCIB President and CEO Peter M. Robinson in accepting the award. “They can help pave the way for new overseas sales, which are more important than ever as we seek to get our economy out of recession.”
As part of World Trade Week, USCIB hosted a seminar on “Building International Sales, Doing it the Right Way,” where USCIB’s Ms. Barlow joined Toni Corsini of the Small Business Administration to provide an in-depth overview of services and assistance programs for smaller exporters. Representatives from U.S. Customs and Border Protection concluded the session with a review of export and import regulations, including export licenses and the important concept of “reasonable care” in international trade.
These efforts, along with ongoing measures to streamline and promote the Carnet system worldwide, should position the service to rebound along with international trade in the months and years ahead.