What is an ATA carnet ?

A temporary admission is a customs operation involving the introduction of goods to a third country with the suspension of fees and taxes. These products are intended to be re-shipped in an identical condition within a period defined beforehand.

For these purposes, the ATA carnet is a passport for goods to be used abroad on a temporary basis. It replaces declarations to be made when crossing a border and relieves its holder from providing the guarantees required for the operations carried out (deposit and security).

The ATA carnet is mainly used to:

  • transport professional equipment required to perform a task abroad ;
  • transport goods to be used for prospecting at trade fairs, exhibitions and events ;
  • present commercial samples with a view to demonstrating products.

The characteristics of an ATA carnet

The ATA carnet is a simplified customs procedure which can be used to transport goods in the event of a temporary stay, by freight or in accompanied luggage.

An ATA carnet is valid for one year in over 75 countries around the world part of the Brussels ATA Convention (1961) and/or the Istanbul Convention (1990).

To be valid, an ATA carnet must be issued by an organisation approved by the customs authorities and affiliated with an international guarantee chain. In France, the ATA carnet is issued by Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCI).

Examples and application

ATA carnet issue conditions

To receive an ATA carnet, an application must be made to your CCI. Formalities take place online using the Electronic Management of International Formalities (GEFI) platform.

Companies must provide:

  • various company details (company name, full address and name of the manager, SIRET number, NAF code) ;
  • a list of equipment and/or goods for which the carnet is issued, and their trade value excluding taxes or even the provisional return date of the carnet after use.

During the initial application, the company must provide a photocopy of the holder's identity document and a KBIS extract.

The cost of an ATA carnet depends on the value of the goods and the number of destinations in question, including fixed costs and variable costs.

Composition and use of the ATA carnet during transit operations

An ATA carnet is an A4 document with 3 distinct parts:

  1. a green hard cover indicating the instructions for the ATA carnet, the list of signatory countries to the ATA conventions, the list of guaranteeing organisations and the details of the issuing CCI, as well as the details of the holding company and the list of goods transported ;
  2. inserts printed on both sides in a variable number testifying the various customs clearances ;
  3. yellow, white or blue sheets in a variable number intended to be removed by customs at each customs operation.

Journeys made may be simple return trips or circular or star-shaped (successive returns trips between different countries). The ATA carnet then includes as many inserts and sheets as customs operations planned.

ATA carnets in figures

Regulatory framework

  • ATA Brussels Convention (1961) ;
  • Istanbul Convention on temporary admission (1990) ;
  • Articles 226 (3) c and Articles 227 (2) c CDU and Articles 283 and 284 of the implementing regulation of the European Commission ;

Regulation (EEC) No 2365/91 from the Commission of 31 July 1991 laying down the conditions for using the ATA carnet for the temporary admission of goods in the customs territory of the Community and for the temporary export of goods outside this territory.