New York, N.Y., December 2, 2008 – Beginning this month, the European nation of Montenegro has begun accepting ATA Carnets, waiving duties and taxes on a variety of goods entering the country temporarily. It is the 66th country to join the unique system to facilitate trade and business travel, according to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), which administers the ATA Carnet system in the United States.
“Montenegro’s decision to accept Carnets further solidifies their use in southeastern Europe,” according to Cynthia Duncan, USCIB’s senior vice president for Carnet operations. “Among the nations of former Yugoslavia, only Bosnia and Kosovo remain outside the system.”
ATA Carnets (“ATA” is a combination of the French and English abbreviations for “temporary admission.”) are internationally recognized customs documents for temporary duty-free, tax-free import of commercial samples, professional equipment and goods displayed at trade shows. Companies find the “merchandise passports” essential for reducing costs and speeding global operations.
Ms. Duncan said Montenegrin industries of interest to U.S. importers and exporters included synthetic cloth and industrial textiles, footwear, lumber, telecommunications equipment, steel mill products, and photographic and optical equipment.
Since gaining independence in 2006, Montenegro has embarked on an economic reform and privatization drive that has led to strong economic growth, which exceeded seven percent last year. The country is also a candidate for membership in the European Union.
Carnets are honored in over 80 customs territories, including all EU members, and can be used for multiple trips during a one-year period. The global ATA Carnet system is overseen by the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce. USCIB administers the Carnet system in the United States, working with service providers Roanoke Trade Services, Inc., and the Corporation for International Business.
In 2007, over 155,000 ATA Carnets were issued worldwide, covering goods valued at almost $12 billion. The system is growing, with Ukraine and Pakistan among the most recent additions. China recently marked its tenth anniversary in the system. See related story.
USCIB promotes an open system of world commerce. As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, including ICC, it provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide. USCIB facilitates international trade by issuing and guaranteeing ATA Carnets, by promoting international cooperation in such areas as customs policies and commercial dispute resolution, and through its ICC Books USA unit, which publishes a variety of publications on to international trade and investment.
Cynthia Duncan, SVP Carnet Operations, USCIB
(212) 703-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org