How do I apply for an ATA Carnet? | Carnet Application FAQ

Obtaining your ATA Carnet is really easy! If you already work with a freight forwarder or a Customs House Broker they can provide you with your ATA Carnet, even if you decide to hand carry the goods yourself – or you can obtain an ATA Carnet directly from us, by using CarnetsOnline™, our fast and easy carnet application system.

To begin, register for a user name and password by completing the registration form for CarnetsOnline. Upon receiving your login credentials you can begin your application.

Information Needed for Your Carnet Application

1. Holder Information

You need to provide accurate information for the entity ultimately liable and responsible for the goods as well as any potential duties and taxes if the goods were to remain in the foreign country. This entity is called the “holder” for purposes of an ATA Carnet.

2. Authorized Representative

The carnet application requires a list of  all companies and/or persons who are authorized by the holder to present the ATA Carnet for customs clearance. Where you need to clear customs is vitally important to this part of the carnet application.

Most countries will accept a Customs Power of Attorney, an ATA Carnet Power of Attorney, or a letter on the holder’s letterhead authorizing additional companies or persons to present the ATA Carnet for customs clearance. But please keep in mind that some countries (Turkey, Japan, Russia, to name a few) require the actual person clearing customs to be listed on the ATA Carnet.

3. General List

The “General List” refers to the list of goods that will be traveling on the ATA Carnet. Despite the title, this list needs to be as clearly described as possible for a carnet application. The General List should include all unique identifying characteristics for the goods on the ATA Carnet. For example serial numbers, model numbers, measurements, contents, fabric, colors, country of origin, and weight.

To complete the General List, you can enter the items individually in the online application or you could upload an excel file containing the list.

The Excel file needs to be formatted and saved as a .CSV file, consistent with the image below. This is the only format accepted on a carnet application. The columns need to be completed as noted below but without column headings.

  • Column A is line item number.
  • Column B is the detailed description.
  • Column C is the quantity of the item
  • Column D is the weight.
  • Column E is the total value of the item/items, with the amount entered as a number without the currency symbol or commas.
  • Column F is the country of origin of where the goods were manufactured in the 2-letter ISO country code format.

4. Countries to Visit

The ATA Carnet itself is not country specific. If you name Japan as a destination at the time of your carnet application, and your Japan trip is canceled, but another opportunity arises to take the same goods to say Canada, you do not need another ATA Carnet. However, make sure to check the country details for any ATA Carnet specific requirements or formalities.

To assist with country-specific formalities, Roanoke requests a list of the countries you plan to travel to with your ATA Carnet. We need this list at the time of your carnet application.

5. Form of Security

Concurrent with the issuance of an ATA Carnet, the holder must provide financial security to the guaranteeing association in the United States, the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB). The USCIB typically requires a bond or cash equivalent of 40% of the total value of the General List. The security requirements for vehicles and boats typically just to 100% of the value for corporations and 150% of the value for individuals.

Bonds provided as a guarantee must be authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department, admitted in the State of New York, have an A.M. Best rating of A- or higher and be written in the language required by the USCIB.

Cash deposits are another option to post the security requirement, but keep in mind that the cash is not released for 4 to 6 weeks after the ATA Carnet is returned and closed. If the ATA Carnet cannot be closed, then these monies may be held for up to 30 months during a claims process.

An ATA Carnet Bond from Roanoke is the simplest way to provide financial security without tying up your funds for up to 30 months. Plus, an ATA Carnet Bond reduces the time needed to secure your ATA Carnet, since it is possible for all information to be supplied during the ATA Carnet application process. This ensures a quick and reliable carnet issuance. Merely select “Bond Process with Carnet” when completing your online carnet application.

6. Power of Attorney

If you are obtaining an ATA Carnet on behalf of your customer, then a Customs Power of Attorney or an ATA Carnet   must be signed and submitted to Roanoke with your carnet application. Without the power of attorney, the processing of the carnet will be delayed to obtain signatures from authorized individuals within the organization.

Note: only one power of attorney is necessary per organization, regardless of the number of carnets you need – unless an exception applies.

7. Insurance

Roanoke offers an enhanced ATA Carnet Cargo Insurance program to insure your goods for the entire duration of your ATA Carnet. The policy is designed to cover losses not typically covered under a standard transit 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. The deductible for Roanoke’s policy is 1% of the General List value with a $50 minimum.

Roanoke specializes in insurance for the international trade community and understands the unique exposures exporters’ face when moving goods on an ATA Carnet—this is why the ATA Carnet Cargo Insurance program works so well for our ATA Carnet clients. Comprehensive, flexible, responsive coverage and in-house claims handling service are offered at a competitive price.

8. Fees

The ATA Carnet basic fees are set by the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB). The cost of the ATA Carnet, the ATA Carnet bond and ATA Carnet Cargo insurance are determined by the value of the shipment (the items on the General List). While CarnetsOnline™ will calculate the costs for you, the ATA Carnet Fee and Premium Schedule can be found here.

All fees and premiums must be prepaid, unless otherwise arranged with your ATA Carnet Service Team. For more details please contact us at 800.762.6653 or by email at Carnets@RoanokeGroup.com.


Our Latest Articles

Guarding Against Fictitious Pickups and Cargo Theft: Tips and Training

Fictitious pickups are increasing in North America. In the US, the percentage of cargo thefts due to fictitious pickup rose from 1% in 2022 to 17% in 2023. Strategic theft patterns are also rising, where thieves use identity theft and fraud with fictitious pickup and brokering schemes to obtain loads from freight locations. Combatting this […]

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

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? […]

CBSA’s CARM Launch Update: What You Need to Know

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced on April 19, 2024, a crucial update regarding the launch of its groundbreaking CBSA Assessment and Revenue Management (CARM) system. Amidst shifting labor dynamics and a commitment to ensuring a seamless transition, the CBSA has rescheduled the external launch of CARM to Trade Chain Partners (TCPs) to October […]

Sign up for our latest articles and events.

Roanoke is the leading provider of insurance and surety solutions for transportation and logistics providers. In fact, we are recognized as the most reliable source for U.S. customs bonds.


If you have any questions or need help, feel free to contact with our team.



1501 E. Woodfield Road

Suite 400W

Schaumburg, IL 60173


390 Bay Street

Munich Re Centre, 22nd Floor

Toronto, ON M5H 2Y2

Solutions that Go the Distance.

© 2024 Roanoke Insurance Group Inc. A Munich Re company

Better Business Bureau logoCoverholder at Lloyd's logo