July 17, 2015 | Industry Insights

Reduce Costs, Simplify Customs Procedures for Trade Shows with the ATA Carnet

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ATA Carnet, commonly referred to as the Merchandise Passport, is an international customs document and temporary export-import document used to ease customs clearance in 100 countries and territories. The ATA Carnet system was established by the international ATA convention and is governed by the World Customs Organization and International Chamber of Commerce and its World Chambers Federation to encourage world trade and reduce trade barriers created by different national customs regulations.

An ATA Carnet eliminates duties and value-added tax (VAT) on merchandise that will be re-exported to the U.S. within 12 months. It also eliminates the need to post some form of financial guarantee, i.e., a Temporary Import Bond (TIB). Moreover, the ATA Carnet System simplifies customs procedures allowing a temporary exporter to use a single document for all customs transactions, make arrangements in advance, and at a predetermined cost.

ATA Carnets cover virtually all types of merchandise for commercial use, whether it’s ordinary goods used in the course of business or whether it’s something unique or exotic, such as a rare piece of art or live animals. There are three types of shipments that qualify for ATA Carnet benefits, including commercial samples; professional equipment (tools of the trade); and goods for exhibitions, fairs, meetings and similar cultural events. Each country chooses which one or all three of these types of goods they are willing to accept, with not all signatory countries accepting all three types. But all 100 ATA Carnet countries do accept goods for trade shows. Therefore, when it comes to trade shows, everything goes on an ATA Carnet.

Moreover, in replacing the temporary entry requirements in foreign countries, ATA Carnets function as a certificate of registration (CBP form 4455) with US CBP for the exhibit items returning to the United States. This air cargo passport is one document for all customs transactions, the export filing from the U.S., entry documentation into a foreign country, re-exportation documentation from that country, and finally the returning re-importation documentation back home. Also, thanks to the AFA’s efforts, ATA Carnets are exempt from the electronic export information filing in AES. However, ATA Carnets are not exempt from participating government agencies’ licensing requirements, and appropriate licenses need to be obtained in addition to the ATA Carnet document.

What also differentiates ATA Carnet shipments, specifically those destined for trade shows, is that they are not a one-time transport. A shipment on an ATA Carnet can continue traveling from one country to the next, with periodic stops in which goods are unpacked and then repacked. With this in mind, it is easy to understand why a typical cargo insurance policy may not fully cover goods moving on an ATA Carnet.

Roanoke Trade offers an enhanced ATA Carnet Cargo Insurance program to fill in the gaps for the entire duration of your ATA Carnet. The policy is designed to cover losses not typically covered under a standard cargo policy. Features of this policy include “all risk” coverage for new and used goods, including transit to and from a foreign ATA Carnet member country.  Coverage continues while the merchandise is in these countries and provides duty reimbursement in the event goods are lost or stolen. The policy also covers goods checked as luggage or hand-carried on a commercial airline.

Call a Roanoke Trade specialist today at 1-800-CARNETS (1-800-227-6387) to find out more about ATA Carnets for your business, or visit us at https://www.roanokegroup.com/ATA-Carnet.

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