Rather than previous entries as a notebook, or tickets, dictionaries now refer to a carnet as a document allowing goods to be temporarily imported.
A sign of changing times, which the UK government also reflects. ATA carnets have long been part of international trade but since Brexit they have become more prominent in government publications and on their websites.
They offered a ready made solution for temporary exports to and from the EU. A necessity for maintaining connections with our largest trading partner, to support ongoing business and play a role in creating opportunities.
The UK approach to carnet use is quite standard and inclusive, whether goods are leaving, or being brought into the UK. An aspect which could be useful if you are advising an overseas partner on a visit.
The UK Stance On Carnet Use
Inbound, or outbound, all main categories are allowable, professional equipment, items for trade shows and commercial samples. In practice, almost anything which will return in the condition this left can go on an ATA carnet.
Carnet use for transit to other member countries is allowed. Postal goods are not allowed, one of the few exceptions the UK invoked under the Istanbul Convention.
A carnet issued in the UK will be valid for 12 months and they normally allow the same timescale on carnets used for import. Extensions are possible with careful management, on this and other points, please see:
As with carnets across the globe, using a carnet does not mean you can escape requirements on restricted, or prohibited goods. The normal licences apply and should still be sought from relevant government bodies.
Other Core Requirements
You cannot process, or repair items on a carnet, or swap them for alternatives. Cleaning a camera is fine, having a broken lens fixed should be okay but replacing with a different camera, even if similar, would not be.
A guarantee that duties and taxes will be paid if the system is abused is required, for outbound and particularly inbound goods.
Your carnet supplier should organise this as a standard part of issuing the documents. They will do so in a way that your country’s guaranteeing body is able to make payment to customs authorities in the location required.
The UK government states that you are required to use an ATA carnet for temporary export to Northern Ireland, as there is an open border with the EU. This is a variable position, check with a well informed carnet supplier.
The Reality Of Support
A government publication describe ATA carnets as “an easy customs arrangement”. They are essentially right and more practical support has evolved, at airports, ports, or the increasing inland border facilities.
There is not however no government help on following the application process, or using an ATA carnet. Direct support is in the hands of organisations such as Dynamic Dox, which may not be a bad thing.
We have experience of issuing carnets for many years, to every country on the globe. The knowledge this has brought may be more helpful than a government department starting from scratch.
You are welcome to see more on the UK regulations, ranging from managing lost carnets, to re-importing in stages. Or contact our support team at any time, who will be pleased to answer your questions.