ATA Carnets

An ATA Carnet is the simplest method of exporting goods on a temporary basis.  Carnets are like ‘passports for goods’ replacing the need for usual customs documentation. Carnets allow fast, trouble free importation into countries belonging to the Carnet scheme (see below for a full list of participating countries) without the need to pay duty and/or local tax at the time of import.  They can be used for multiple trips, are valid for one year and covers over 40 countries.   Carnets can be used for three main categories of goods:

  • Commercial samples (the Carnet is a commercial document, and as such values shown must reflect the current retail value in the UK)

  • Goods for presentation or use at trade fairs, shows, exhibitions or similar events

  • Professional equipment (which is solely for use by, or under the personal supervision of the holder or his nominated representative).

ATA Carnets guarantee overseas customs authorities that all duties and taxes will be paid to them if the conditions under which they allow the goods into the country are breached.

Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce & Industry is responsible, through an international chain of guaranteeing associations, for paying any charges that become due on goods covered by Carnets we have issued.  Security is therefore required to accompany your application and is fully refundable as long as the conditions of use have not been breached.  The amount of security we require is equal to the highest rate of duty and taxes applicable to the goods in the country/countries to which the goods are being despatched.



What types of good may a carnet not be used for?

A carnet may not be used for:

  • goods to be sold or hired out abroad for financial gain.

  • perishable or consumable items (as they would not normally be re-exported).

  • goods which are temporarily exported for processing or repair .

  • goods on which a Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) refund will be claimed.

  • goods used as a means of transport.

  • the exportation of unaccompanied goods, or by post.

  • foreign goods temporarily imported into the EC under a Customs Temporary Importation Concession.

  • equipment to be used for the construction, repair or maintenance of buildings or for earthmoving and like projects.

For alternative methods of temporary export please contact Department for Business Innovation & Skills on 0207 215 5000/ 0207 215 or visit their website

Completion of the ATA Carnet Forms

The number of vouchers in a Carnet depends on the route the goods are travelling and the number of countries being visited.  All the forms are in pairs (apart from the green front cover Page 1), each having a specific function (Exp = exportation out of E.C. Imp = importation into destination country, Re-exp = re-exportation from the country where the original import was made, Re-imp = re-importation into E.C.  Blue Tra vouchers may also be required for transit or exhibition purposes).  Certain countries do not accept Carnets for all categories.

Your Carnet will be returned to you after issue with guidance notes on how to use the document.

Geographical Coverage

At present the ATA Carnet System is applied in the following countries: -Algeria (DZ), Andorra (AD), Australia (AU), Belarus (BY), Bosnia and Herzegovina (BA), Canada (CA), Chile (CL), China (CN), Cote D’Ivoire (CI), Croatia (HR), Gibraltar (GI), Hong Kong (HK), Iceland (IS), India (IN), Iran (IR), Israel (IL), Japan (JP), Korea (KR), Lebanon (LB), Macao (MO), Macedonia (MK), Malaysia (MY), Mauritius (MU), Moldova (MO), Mongolia (MN), Montenegro (ME), Morocco (MA), New Zealand (NZ), Norway (NO), Pakistan (PK), Russia (RU), Senegal (SN), Serbia (CS), Singapore (SG), South Africa (ZA), Sri Lanka (LK), Switzerland (CH), Taiwan (TW), Thailand (TH), Tunisia (TN), Turkey (TR), Ukraine (UA), United Arab Emirates (AE) and United States of America (US).

Letter of Authority

A Carnet may be issued in the name of an individual or a company who must be permanently resident in the United Kingdom.  However, it may be used by any person providing the user carries a letter from the named holder authorising such use.

You may also authorise an Agent to present the Carnet to the customs on your behalf, again provided that the Agent holds a Letter of Authority. Box B (Name of accredited person(s) who will use the Carnet) on the Green Front cover and the coloured vouchers would require the following statement: “Any duly authorised representative”.

For any queries relating to completion, processing or for further information on ATA Carnets please email Dawn Robertson or call 028 90 244 113