Customs and other governmental websites in EU countries recently added more detailed information on ATA carnet use to the UK. Good to see this shared, on an approach which has become the default.
Carnets are working well in both directions, as mentioned in a January post by two French bands, who toured together in the UK before Christmas.
As first time carnet users, they were concerned about hassle, or delay but all went well. Their description of fast boarding and helpful customs officers was good to read, similar has been posted by other business travellers.
The ATA carnet system is there to meet a post Brexit need and has worked smoothly, there are just a few misunderstandings to set aside.
When A Carnet Doesn’t Suit
A Dutch ceramic artist posted an enquiry on a UK customs forum, about the prospect of using an ATA carnet for a trip to the UK. We have seen other questions in a similar vein, with the same problem.
The ceramics were for sale in the UK, which is not the time to use a carnet. ATA carnets are intended for goods which will return to the country they left, ideally in the same condition as they left.
In the main, the time not to use an ATA carnet is for:
- Your Means Of Transport
- Goods For Sale Or Hire
- Items For Processing Or Repair
- Perishable & Consumable Items
- Equipment For Building Works
There are odd peculiarities, such as building construction and repair. If you wanted to take your JCB to a trade exhibition that would however be fine and in general, tools of trade do often travel on a carnet.
The basic principles will cover almost all cases, reflecting the fact that ATA carnets are for trade facilitation, more than trade itself.
Supporting EU-UK Trade
We do have a more comprehensive entry on when not to use ATA carnets. This page was posted simply because traffic to our site from EU visitors has grown, especially to the blog, part of people’s search for information.
If they are coming to the UK for any business reason and bringing items on a temporary basis, an ATA carnet may well be the answer.
All our team wish them a smooth journey and know they will be made welcome. The UK and the rest of Europe have traded with each other for millenia, there is no reason for us to stop doing so now.