ATA Carnet, Industry Insights | Jason Palumbo

COVID-19 ATA Carnet Best Practices

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COVID-19 has already had a big impact on international travel and especially on large events. As such, ATA Carnet users are susceptible to disruptions right now, especially those needing to transit through multiple countries to operate effectively or even those going to single countries where quarantines or event cancellations are taking place. Furthermore, you may encounter unexpected difficulties booking timely re-exportations to meet carnet expiration deadlines. While we can’t make travel any easier, we are here to try to support our clients with best practices.

  1. Be proactive around approaching ATA Carnet expiration dates. If your established re-exportation plans are disrupted, you don’t want to get stuck with an ATA Carnet claim fee for late re-exportation in addition to the hassle of cargo rebooking. Reach out to our ATA Carnet Helpdesk. We can assist with requesting an extension or providing a Replacement ATA Carnet which will allow an additional 12 months in most member countries.
  2. Keep all documentation related to your trip. Airline tickets, cancellations, and rebookings, bills of lading or airway bills, hotel reservation extensions, and anything related to travel delays can help us as we work with the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB) to mitigate any carnet claim issued against you that is the unforeseen and unavoidable result of this virus.
  3. Reach out as early as possible if your trip is disrupted. We have been working closely with the USCIB regarding the COVID-19 impact on ATA Carnets, and we are here to advocate for you. The USCIB has a direct line to foreign guarantee associations and foreign customs, and together we can help. The sooner we start the process though, the better for you.

The US Council released the following statement:

“We will work with Foreign National Guaranteeing Associations and National Customs Administrations to attempt to mitigate any ATA Carnet claims for U.S. issued Carnets that are caused by restrictions in the country of re-exportation due to the virus.  USCIB has been in contact with China Customs and have received their support on dealing with any future claims on U.S. issued Carnets. At the same time, USCIB also plans to work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in efforts to help mitigate any Chinese Carnets impacted by the virus on re-exportation from the U.S.”

With all the complications that a global concern like COVID-19 causes for daily life and business, the last thing you need to deal with is a customs claim that you just couldn’t avoid. Please let our experienced team of ATA Carnet professionals use their expertise to help.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact your ATA Carnet Team at 1.800.ROANOKE (800.762.6653) or

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