ATA Carnets in the UK – Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ATA Carnet?

An ATA Carnet is a temporary passport for products that allows the export of commercial samples, goods for trade fairs or exhibitions, and professional equipment to countries that are part of the ATA Carnet system. ATA Carnet reduces customs requirements by permitting a single document to be used for clearing goods through customs in ATA Carnet system member nations. An ATA Carnet is valid for one year and permits the transfer of the items listed on the Carnet to any of the destinations applied for an unlimited number of times during that year.

What is a Temporary Admission (ATA) Carnet? and how to use it?

You can buy a Temporary Admission (ATA) Carnet and use it to:

  • temporarily export goods for use outside the UK

  • claim relief under temporary admission on products you import for temporary use in the UK and temporarily import goods for temporary use in the UK.

  • cover the transit of products via specified nations en route to countries where you’ll temporarily utilise them.

What are the benefits of using an ATA Carnet?

ATA Carnet simplifies clearing your goods through customs in exporting and importing countries. It replaces customs documents that you’d typically need to complete. ATA Carnet provides financial security for customs charges that may be due on goods you’ll use in the countries you visit. ATA Carnet eliminates the need for a customs declaration; however, goods imported or exported as freight may need to be included on an import and export customs clearance request, form C.

Who can use an ATA Carnet?

Private travellers or corporations can use a carnet, and either: The holder’s name will appear on the front of the Carnet; a representative’s name will appear in box B or the authorisation letter.

What are the countries that accept ATA Carnets?

Countries have rules on what products can be transported with an ATA Carnet. Check with the issuer in the destination country. The following are examples of nations that support ATA Carnets. Please visit this page on the HRMC website for a comprehensive list of nations.

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Bulgaria

  • Croatia

  • Republic of Cyprus

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Greece

  • Hungary

  • Ireland

  • Italy

  • United States

What are the responsibilities of the ATA Carnet holder?

Whether or not you own the goods, as the holder, you’ll be responsible for any customs charges that may become due if you either do not:

  • use the goods correctly

  • re-export them from the country you visit

If you’re the carnet holder, you must also make sure:

  • the country you visit accepts ATA Carnets for the type of goods and how you mean to use them

  • you show the Carnet to customs for stamping each time the goods enter or leave a country or customs territory

  • customs remove the voucher at each use

  • you tell customs if the goods are no longer eligible for use under the Carnet you’ve bought (for example, you decide to sell your goods)

How to apply for an ATA Carnet in the UK?

The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Authorised Chamber Network issue ATA Carnets in the UK. Their website has a list of issuing bodies. Contact one of the authorised issuing chambers or apply online with the London Chamber of Commerce. ATA Carnets can also be purchased at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry offices.

What information do I need to provide to apply for an ATA Carnet?

  • Details of the Carnet holder (a company that is responsible for payment of any duties to foreign customs if the document is misused)

  • Details of the person(s) who will be travelling with the goods

  • Intended use of the goods

  • List of goods taken. All the goods must be individually itemised, with each item having its specific description (i.e. make, serial number), weight and value to facilitate Customs identification and prevent substitution of goods. 

What is the cost of an ATA Carnet?

Carnets are issued for £310 plus VAT for a 24-hour service. The members of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) receive a discounted fee of £185.00 + VAT.

How many times an ATA Carnet by issued?

During the term of validity, an ATA Carnet can be used for numerous visits to any number of destinations listed on the itinerary.

What is Carnet security, and why is it required?

The Carnet provides the foreign Customs with a guarantee that all tariffs, taxes, etc., will be paid to them if the conditions under which these items are allowed into the nation are violated. The security is in place to protect the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as the UK National Guaranteeing Organisation, against foreign Customs demands if the Carnet has been misused and the Carnet Holder cannot pay any outstanding penalties.

What is National Carnet Unit (NCU)?

National Carnet Unit is a division of HMRC that handles ATA Carnets alone. You should only contact NCU in the following situations:

  • Your goods have returned from abroad, but the Carnet has not been endorsed on re-importation (request Certificate of Location)

  • You have a Substitute or replacement carnet that needs to be validated (before being sent abroad to be married up with the goods)

  • You are a NON-UK Carnet Holder, and your Carnet is about to expire (contact NCU to request permission to extend your stay in the UK)

  • Your goods have been imported into the UK on a NON-UK Carnet, and you wish to divert them to home use (import them into the UK permanently).

What is an ATA Carnet Pilot?

The objective of the ATA Carnet project is to digitalise ATA Carnets and their entire lifecycle management process, from issuance and declarations to transactions and claims. The ATA Carnet pilot aims to validate the digital ATA Carnet concept and demonstrate that all parts of the ATA Carnet lifecycle can be managed electronically to facilitate the transition from a paper-based to a digital document. The pilot will feature concurrent processing of the paper and digital Carnets (the digital Carnet will only be processed if both the port of departure and port of arrival are participating in the pilot).

What do I do with the Carnet once I have finished using it?

The Carnet must be returned to the office of issue (details are printed on the back of the Carnet) in its original condition no later than the expiration date.
Please keep a copy of any pages endorsed by Customs in your files if the Carnet is lost en route to the issuing office.

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