ATA Carnet

The Quickest, Easiest Way to Get Goods Through Customs

The ATA Carnet is a widely used international customs document allowing for the duty-free and tax-free temporary export and import of good. The carnet is valid for up to one year. Carnets are the most convenient way to expedite goods through Customs often saving the customer time and money.


Any item that is not consumable or perishable can generally be covered by an ata carnet. For example, everything from computers to tools and photographic film equipment can be issued a carnet, and this includes musical instruments, industrial machinery, vehicles, jewelry, clothing, medical appliances and even racehorses. Unusual items as well, such as prehistoric relics.


Other useful functions of an ATA Carnet


In addition to shipping a large variety of items through customs, the carnet can also help by allowing you to make advance customs arrangements at a predetermined cost, replacing the purchase of temporary import bonds. You can also use your carnet for several trips during its one-year validity while visiting several different countries. These documents will also allow you to return to your home country with your goods without additional problems or delays.


You can obtain a carnet using four simple steps:

  1. Gather information listed on the application checklist
  2. Register for an online account
  3. Log in to complete and submit the online carnet and bond application, and
  4. While logged in, provide payment method and method of overnight delivery


“ATA” is an acronym of the French and English words “Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission” but you may have heard carnets referred to as “Passports for goods” or “merchandise passports”. You can also purchase a carnet for extremely large items like aircraft and rock band touring sound systems. Carnets do not cover consumable or disposable goods (e.g., food and agriculture products) giveaways, postal traffic or goods subject to repair.


Basic processing fees may vary but are determined by the value of a shipment. Fees range from approximately $225-$380.00 US and the normal processing time is between one and two working days, provided that the application and security deposit are received according to the service provider’s guidelines.


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