As Which magazine point out, we face inequalities in Europe compared to EU citizens but this does not apply to the use of ATA carnets.
Individual countries in Europe have different work permit rules and tax regimes, but neither they, nor the EU control the ATA carnet system. This runs under an international treaty, unconnected with EU membership.
Since January 2021, a huge amount of detail has appeared in trade journals, or related blogs on working in the EU. We applaud this in a sense but a degree of incorrect information has crept in on carnet use.
Points To Clarify
Paying large amounts in advance as surety against breaking carnet terms can happen if you choose but is not standard. An ATA carnet bond is available as an alternative way to guarantee payment, at a fraction of the cost.
Using a carnet for items you send to be inspected prior to purchase may not be the best option. The carnet system is intended to be used for temporary export, not for goods which are unlikely to return.
Sample goods are a different proposition and a specific ATA carnet category, your carnet will allow them to be shown across EU member countries, not just one country. Neither will the validity of a carnet end because you temorarily return to the UK.
Short term arrangements could cause disparity until July 2021 but statements on substantial differences between UK and EU carnet use are not valid. Both operate under the same scheme and the same categories.
Sharing The Load
If a film production company is going to work in the EU, each actor, or staff member do not need their own carnets. They are part of a legitimate joint enterprise and everything travels on one carnet.
A few UK companies and organisations operating in Europe have taken this approach a step further. They ask individuals to send item lists to go onto one carnet and share the costs between those travelling.
There will be cases where this is a great idea but care is needed, the enterprise needs to unified. The fact you happen to be travelling to the EU at the same time others are but for a different purpose, or event is not sufficient.
Bear in mind that customs officers may ask for proof of purpose on your journey, to clarify a work permit, or for other reasons. Being out of line with the intended use of carnets could see you needing to pay large sums, or be turned back.
We entirely understand the wish to save cost, not least for individual workers, or performers. Just take the time to ask our team for a little free, professional advice, those you see on forums offering to share a carnet may not be helping.
Clarity To Come
We are writing this a couple of months after final separation from the EU and do not doubt that aspects will change. Discussions are ongoing regarding paid speakers, performers, visiting technicians and more.
One stumbling block is an EU requirement that anything agreed applies to future members, should another country join. The UK government are resisting this, as inconsistent with their wish to take back control of our borders.
Political haggling will go on and in the interim, we all need to get on with our working lives. If we can assist with advice, or an ATA carnet for the EU, please get in touch.