This page partly reflects times past. For up to date information on carnets in Europe, please go to our comprehensive section:ATA carnets for the EU >>
The business owner’s point on uncertainty matched others as Brexit loomed, neither was the position on temporary exports well defined.
Several years beyond Brexit, you can still see web entries, or Google ads offering Brexit ATA Carnets but there is no such thing. The ATA carnet system operates under a global convention, not via the EU.
After the transition period, the UK officially left the EU on 1st January 2021. Carnets were soon adopted for temporary export to EU countries and have become the accepted approach.
The future is still not set, political discussions on the UK/EU relationship continue. The approach on temporary export to and from the EU is however unlikely to change and is working well.
The London Chamber of Commerce and specialist suppliers such as Dynamic Dox did plan for this eventuality in 2020. A need for carnets looked fairly certain, even though much was undecided, including our method of exit:
No Deal Withdrawal – A no deal would have left the UK operating on World Trade Organisation terms. Problematic in many ways, although the ATA carnet system forms part of these terms, for temporary exports and imports.
Once within the EU, you would still in effect be within one country. A new ATA Carnet document was prepared and amended to reflect the change of status, with the UK reclassified as a non EU member.
The security rate against value of goods was expected to be the standard 40% across the EU, assuming an evolving situation followed the norm.
Withdrawal Agreement – A deal of any form within the time frame was questionable but if this had included temporary exports, the position above might change.
Ultimately, an agreement was put in place, amidst political soundbites, on being rule makers, not rule takers. This did not include remaining in the single market, or much beyond a general trade deal.
On temporary exports, a possible extended “End Use” system was discussed but abandoned. This would have meant going through each country’s individual customs procedure and require a temporary import bond.
The last minute deal was as much political as practical, leaving businesses to review options. The majority of companies, trade bodies and customs agencies did share a conclusion.
The most straightforward, cost effective route for temporarily exporting goods to the EU was an ATA Carnet. They can be used in all EU and EEA member states and with planned import/export controls, ATA carnets were the government’s recommended solution.
Our support team are available to help during business hours, on 01753 767 819. They will naturally be kept up to date on future changes. We are also starting to publish information on personal travel after Brexit.
HMRC can be contacted via the Salford ATA Carnet Unit on 0300 057 9060, or the Imports & Exports Helpline on 0300 200 3700.
The latter can offer local contacts, as does our page listing carnet contacts at ports and airports. With constant changes on border facility operation, we can’t guarantee this is accurate at any given time but a few of the mobile numbers have proven invaluable.
Caught In The Overlap
As the UK left the EU, there were shipments, or hand carried items, caught within changing times. A carnet journey could begin before no deal, or a deal with fresh terms, then complete afterwards.
Shipments existed to third party (non EU) countries on an ATA carnet and were still in transit at the deal cut in. Goods had entered the EU without a carnet during the transition period but were returning afterwards.
There was a degree of needing to prove origin through accounts, inventories, or original shipping documents. HMRC did however acknowledge this was a short term position and largely used common sense to solve issues.
HMRC, the London Chamber and ourselves worked to ensure that changeable times would not unduly interfere with temporary exports, encouraging businesses to request support and information from an ATA carnet provider.
Our staff closely watched the situation unfold and offered advice, as ATA carnets became a normal part of business trips to Europe. A part of Brexit which has progressed quite smoothly, to maintain untroubled journeys.