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ATA Carnet, its uses and its digital transformation

The International Chamber of Commerce defines an ATA Carnet as an international customs document that permits the duty-free and tax-free temporary import of goods for up to one year.. It contains pre-prepared unified customs declaration forms to be used at each customs border office and serves as a guarantee to customs duties and taxes..

The acronym “ATA” stands for “Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission,” a combination of French and English phrases that stands for temporary admittance into participating countries.. An ATA Carnet is widely recognized as a “Passport for Goods”..

The ATA system has been facilitating global events, exhibitions, and professional activities and provides several benefits to its users :

  1. Harmonizing customs procedures, providing a standardized approach for temporary imports and exports, and cutting red tape..
  2. Cost savings for users as they can move goods across borders without import duties and taxes at each checkpoint provided
    • The goods are taken back to the origin country in the same state as they arrived
    • No cargo has been left or modified in the foreign country and
    • The re-export has been accomplished before the expiry date of the carnet
  3. The ATA Carnet has a validity of a year and a single ATA Carnet can be used for multiple trips and destinations, such as the movement of F1 racing cars that are moved to many countries to take part in the Grand Prix across the world..

For shipments like the above, if ATA Carnet is not used, customers will need to complete paperwork at each customs border including payment of customs duties and taxes at each country/border of transit..

In addition, there could be multiple declarations, undertakings, and agreements to be signed as rules will vary from country to country for the importation and transit of goods..

This can hugely increase the time taken for the movement of such time-sensitive goods and also increase costs..

Digital Transformation of ATA Carnet

In a groundbreaking development, the ICC announced the usage of the world’s first fully digital ATA Carnet, marking a monumental step towards modernizing global trade practices..

This milestone was achieved through the collective efforts of Business West, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Belgian Chambers, HM Revenue & Customs, and Customs Belgium, as per the ICC..

The ATA Carnet, GBBRI52071, presented by EFM Global, flawlessly navigated through the entire customs journey, showcasing the potential and efficiency of the digital ATA Carnet System pioneered by ICC..

This digital shift not only signifies innovation but also aligns with global trends of embracing technology to facilitate smoother, faster, and more reliable trade processes..

The digital transformation of the ATA Carnet system is a significant stride towards the possible mitigation of the above-mentioned challenges, ushering in an era of streamlined and efficient customs processing..

The digital transformation adds a layer of efficiency, as users can now navigate the customs process with the support of a digital system, ensuring accuracy and reducing processing times..

ATA Carnets are issued at a national level and accepted in approximately 80 countries and customs territories and you can search this ATA Carnet directory to find the issuing association in your country..


The ATA Carnet system stands as a testament to the ICC’s and international community’s commitment to facilitating global trade and with the introduction of the world’s first fully digital ATA Carnet, we are heading towards a more efficient, secure, and streamlined trade process..

The collaborative efforts of various chambers of commerce and customs authorities highlight the potential of digital innovation in transforming customs procedures, paving the way for a smoother, more accessible global trade experience..

Embracing this digital evolution is not just about keeping pace with technology, it is about unlocking new possibilities and driving efficiency in global trade..


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Hariesh Manaadiar
Hariesh Manaadiarhttps://www.shippingandfreightresource.com
I am Hariesh Manaadiar, the Founder of Shipping and Freight Resource.. I have been in the dynamic shipping and freight industry for over three decades and have worked in several sectors.. I share my experiences and knowledge of the industry through this blog for those looking for help in the industry.. Stay subscribed for more free useful content about shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, supply chain and trade..


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