May 09, 2024 | ATA Carnet

ATA Carnets and the Olympics: A Winning Combination for Freight Forwarders

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As the Olympic flame burns brightly, athletes from around the world gather to compete in a showcase of human achievement and global unity. For freight forwarders, the Olympic Games represent a unique opportunity to play a crucial role behind the scenes, ensuring that equipment and goods cross international borders seamlessly. The key to this success? The ATA Carnet—a vital tool in the freight forwarder’s toolkit that makes international shipping for temporary imports a breeze.

What is an ATA Carnet?

The ATA Carnet is an international customs document that provides duty and tax-free customs clearance for temporary exports into foreign countries. Often referred to as a “passport for goods,” it simplifies the entry process by eliminating the need for financial guarantees, such as a temporary import bond or bank guarantee. Recognized in over 100 destinations, the ATA Carnet is ideal for almost all types of goods, whether hand-carried or cargo-shipped. For more information on how to secure an ATA Carnet, visit this page.

Why Freight Forwarders Need ATA Carnets for the Olympics

  • Reducing Costs and Facilitating Customs Clearance: Freight forwarders handling shipments for Olympic teams, media crews, or sponsors can benefit significantly from the cost-saving aspects of an ATA Carnet. By eliminating value-added taxes (VAT) and duties, as well as simplifying customs procedures, the ATA Carnet ensures that equipment, such as sports gear or broadcasting tools, can be transported seamlessly and cost-effectively.
  • Covering a Broad Range of Merchandise: From trade show booths to satellites, the ATA Carnet covers a wide variety of goods, making it perfect for the diverse needs of the Olympics. The document is valid for multiple trips over a year, allowing for flexibility in scheduling and logistics. This is particularly beneficial for split and partial shipments, enabling different shipments for various purposes to be covered under one ATA Carnet.
  • No Surprises and Easy Registration: The ATA Carnet eliminates unexpected costs by allowing freight forwarders to arrange everything in advance, providing peace of mind when arriving in a foreign country. Additionally, it can be used as a U.S. Customs registration form (CBP 4455), streamlining the process even when traveling to non-ATA Carnet countries.

What Can Go on an ATA Carnet?

An ATA Carnet covers three main categories of merchandise:

  1. Commercial Samples: Items for demonstration or solicitation of orders, such as sports equipment for sponsors.
  2. Professional Equipment: Tools of the trade, like broadcasting gear or scientific equipment for event coverage.
  3. Exhibitions, Fairs, and Cultural Events: Goods for displays or charitable purposes, such as exhibition booths or promotional materials.

Navigating Customs Formalities for the Olympics

Customs formalities vary based on how goods are transported—whether as cargo or in luggage. Import restrictions and prohibitions are important to note, as some goods, like counterfeit items or hazardous substances, are strictly controlled. It’s crucial for freight forwarders to familiarize themselves with these regulations and consult with French customs authorities when in doubt.

The Winning Strategy

For freight forwarders facilitating international shipments for the Olympics, the ATA Carnet is an invaluable asset. It simplifies customs procedures, reduces costs, and ensures smooth transport for a wide range of goods. To learn more about how the ATA Carnet can benefit your business, contact Roanoke today or download the Customs and Freight Guide: Paris 2024 and start planning your winning logistics strategy!


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