ATA Carnet Best Practices

Delivering quality insurance

ATA Carnet Travel Checklist

  1. Sign the Green Cover in box J prior to presenting the ATA Carnet to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) for validation.
  1. Make sure USCBP validates section H on the Green Cover and the corresponding Yellow Exportation Counterfoil prior to leaving the United States.
  1. Make sure the commodities on your ATA Carnet do not require an export/import license or permit. For full details on licenses please click here. Obtaining an ATA Carnet does not release your obligation to comply with U.S. Government export controls or foreign country import controls. Some articles may require an export license for reasons of national security and foreign policy. An export license allows U.S. companies to export commodities that are controlled by U.S. regulations. Check with foreign customs in advance for their restriction or requirements on goods entering their country. For further details please call your ATA Carnet Help Desk at 1-800-CARNETS (1 800-227-6387) or by email at
  1. Commercial Value – It is imperative that you give the items listed on the ATA Carnet a true and inherent value. USCIB highly recommends the insured value. There are cases where Customs has denied entry due to under valuing of the goods on an ATA Carnet. For example K. customs denied entry of an ATA Carnet because the merchandise was undervalued and did not represent a “reasonable commercial value”. Using the insured value of goods on your General List will usually result in a “reasonable commercial value”.
  1. Electronic Export Information Filing (EEI) effective May 15, 2015, ATA Carnets are exempt from the Electronic Export Information Filing requirement.
  1. 10+2 Importer Security FilingATA Carnets are not exempt from the importer security filing requirement for all ocean shipments arriving in the U.S. (ISF, otherwise known as 10+2). However, ATA Carnet shipments ARE exempt from posting the bond required of other shipments entering or re-entering the U.S. via ocean vessel. Except for the provision of the six digit HTSUS codes, the information needed to complete the ISF can be found on the ATA Carnet or available from the broker clearing the entry.
  1. Jewelry
    1. It is highly recommended that identifying photographs be appended to the General List for ATA Carnets entering European Union, especially Italy and the United Kingdom. It is also required that identifying photographs be appended to the General List for all types of Jewelry entries into Israel.
    2. Holders should have blue transit certificates in their ATA Carnet when bringing jewelry samples and/or loose precious stones to France. It is also recommended that Carnets covering jewelry and entering Switzerland for an exhibition or fair include transit sheets.
  1. Motor vehicles may travel on ATA Carnets only if the vehicles are commercial samples, professional equipment (e.g. for races) or to be displayed at an exhibition or fair. Special security deposit rules apply. Vehicles crossing the U.S. Canada border as means of transportation are exempt from ATA Carnet requirements.
  1. To avoid a claim, make sure the counterfoils and vouchers are validated upon entry and exit into a foreign country. Make doubly sure that the yellow re-import counterfoil is stamped by USCBP. This is your last line of defense to settle a claim.
  1. For ATA Carnets with a valid claim, Holders are subject to a maximum penalty of 10% of the total duties and taxes levied by a foreign customs authority. This penalty is in addition to the duties and taxes. Holders will also be charged a USCIB Claims Handling Fee.
  1. If your ATA Carnet Shipment is Held-Up at Customs contact your ATA Carnet Help Desk at 1-800-CARNETS (1 800-227-6387) or by email at Alternatively, contact the National Guaranteeing Association in that country for assistance.
  1. Restricted ATA Carnets a foreign customs authority has the right to restrict the duration of a Carnet shipment and require that the goods leave prior to the expiration date of the Carnet. If a customs authority limits your stay, this will be noted on the importation counterfoil (Item 2—Final Date of Re-Exportation) at the time of entry. Typically China, Mexico, United Arab Emirates and Singapore restrict every entry for 6 months. This does not change the validity period of the ATA Carnet but it dos limit the time the goods can stay in the country. If you need to extend beyond the restricted date, at least 30 days prior to the re-exportation date, contact the port of entry to request an additional period of time in the foreign country.
  1. Substituting Goods you can travel with the goods listed on the ATA Carnet, you can also travel with less then what is listed by doing a partial or split shipment. However, you cannot travel with more than what is listed on the ATA Carnet. If you need to add items to your ATA Carnet shipment then you can obtain an additional ATA Carnet for those items or formally import them into the foreign country. U.S. Customs has levied an $80,000 penalty on a U.S. ATA Carnet Holder who knowingly substituted similar goods on General Lists for re-importation into the United States. Contact your ATA Carnet Help Desk if you need any assistance with additional items 1-800-CARNETS (1 800-227-6387) or by email at
  1. Expiring ATA Carnet your ATA Carnet is valid for one year from date of issue. If you find that you are unable to re-export your ATA Carnet shipment on or before the date of expiration please contact your ATA Carnet Help Desk to review your options at 1-800-CARNETS (1 800-227-6387) or
  1. Return your ATA Carnet as soon as you are done using your ATA Carnet you must return it Roanoke. Please ensure to make copies of your ATA Carnet before sending it via a courier that can be tracked.

Attn: ATA Carnet Department
1501 E. Woodfield Road
Suite 400W
Schaumburg, IL 60173

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