ATA carnets are valid for items in hand luggage, or baggage. Use is technically limited to professional effects, or equipment, samples and exhibition goods, although little you would carry is likely to be an issue.
Our staff will be pleased to advise on individual items. The most important aspect is to ensure customs staff are available to validate your carnet on exit and re-entry. Items also need to comply with current hand luggage restrictions, which are changeable.
Information is provided below for the majority of UK airports and seaports. If you are unable to get direct assistance, HMRC have a central helpline. They give advice on support for ATA carnet goods in luggage at any UK exit point:
Call the HMRC helpline, Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm – 0300 200 3700 – Or for overseas calls – +44 29 2050 1261
Airport Procedures & Contacts
Heathrow – Go to the dedicated booth available at each terminal. If this is not manned, call the merchandise in baggage team on 020 3014 5731.
Gatwick – ATA carnets are handled at each terminal’s outward baggage point. If support is unavailable, call 01293 721418 for the South terminal, 01293 721518 for the North terminal.
Luton – Go to the customs counter (through arrivals). If nobody is available, call 01582 817900/878700.
Manchester – The red phone as you go through security may be fine. If not, call 0161 261 5720. If you still can’t make contact, try the duty customs officer’s mobile, 07802 600442.
Stanstead – The customs enquiry desk may be manned. If not, use the phone by their window, or call 01279 680670.
Edinburgh – Would recommend contacting before travelling, as an appointment may be needed. Call 0131 3331044.
Birmingham – Another airport where pre booked appointments are the most useful route. Call 0121 7817864.
London City – On site ATA carnet support at London City Airport is variable, give them a call before you travel, on 0207 5115560.
Glasgow – The customs office in the terminal building should be able to help with ATA carnet validation for luggage items. When support is unavailable, call 0141 8474854.
Bristol – Staff at the airport information desk may be able to summons customs for you. If not, call locally on 01275 476500, or failing this, the Avonmouth office on 01179 843427.
Liverpool – The information desk will normally call customs. You may still choose to speak to them before travelling, on 0151 9078285.
Newcastle – Call 08701 221488 (Ext 4356) to make an appointment. Carnet holders are often given a mobile number to call when checking their baggage in.
Aberdeen – Phoning ahead is a good idea. The main number 01224 725023 can default to Glasgow Airport if unmanned. You can alternatively call Aberdeen Customs House during business hours, on 01224 844687.
Seaport Procedures & Contacts
External contractors can be involved at ports and procedure can vary at different times of day. Also not unusual to find that the office you need to deal with is well away from the terminal.
You should particularly note that since Brexit, a number of ports are no longer handling most ATA carnets at the port itself. There may now be a requirement to have the carnet validated at an Inland Border Facility prior to arrival at the port.
Inland Border Facilities are meant to deal with freight/vehicle consignments, rather than items in hand luggage, so this may not apply to you. Please ask our staff when you order your carnet, as they will have the latest information.
We have left the “old” contact numbers at main ports in place below, as they are still in use and may be helpful to you, simply bear in mind that customs officers will not be able to bypass new systems put in place at their location:
Dover – 01304 664138 or 01304 664134
Hull – 01482 785851 or 01482 785848
Portsmouth – 02392 852107 or 02392 852106
Felixstowe – 01394 303000 or 01394 303026
Liverpool – 0151 9341201 or 07876 131644 (mobile)
Plymouth – 01752 234640 or 01752 234631 (customs house)
The key point to remember is to ensure that you can have customs contact on exit and when returning. If you are coming back with ATA carnet listed goods in your luggage, you will need to go through the red customs channel where applicable.
Inbound, or outbound, customs support can vary, so good to allow a little extra time for carnet validation. If we can help, or you simply require further information, by all means contact our support team.