ATA Carnets: What are they? And what about Brexit?

Date: 12/03/2019
Author: GMCC
Company: GMCC

ATA Carnets are like a “passport for goods”. They are what individuals and companies use to temporarily export goods to 77 countries worldwide. 

This single document allows you to clear your goods through customs points without having to go through each customs procedure and lodging a temporary import bond with them. If it’s not consumable or perishable or being sent to be repaired or processed, then there is not much you can’t use a Carnet for. From cars in motor shows to TV Filming equipment, goods at trade fairs and samples for potential clients, you can even use a carnet for a Race horse!

Carnets are valid for 12 months and allow the movement of goods as many times as you like to any of the destinations applied for. 

The Chamber currently has three specialists for ATA Carnets, our Carnets are issued in-house allowing us to offer a very competitive rate. We work from two offices at Deansgate in the city centre and Manchester Airport. Documents can be applied for electronically or manually and can be produced the same working day.  

We are proud winners of the British Chambers of Commerce Excellence in International Trade Services 2018/2019. We have an open-door policy, so you can speak to us directly about ATA carnets and collect your carnet in person. We are here to help your business grow. 

What about Brexit?

Carnets have been around since 1963 and operate under the International Customs Conventions, administered by the World Customs Organisation (WCO) – the United Kingdom has signed the relevant international conventions both as the UK and through the EU.

What does this mean? In a nutshell, not much will change after Brexit.

If there is a deal - Carnets will continue to be issued exactly as they are now at least until the end of the transition period. If there is a no deal - it will just be a case of a minor change to the front and back cover of any new Carnets. 

Until we know for sure what is happening with Brexit, the Chamber advises that Carnet holders applying for Carnets before the 29th March 2019 let us know if you will be visiting or travelling through any of the EU 27 countries so we can issue you with extra vouchers to enable a smooth return to the UK. For holders of existing Carnets already in circulation, contact us for extra should you need them. On your return, get your Carnets stamped back into the UK, not the EU, to avoid any problems later.

For more information on the countries in the ATA Carnet scheme, how to apply and the cost - email