ATA Carnets remove a need to pay customs duties, keep goods in bond, or meet other customs formalities. If items are exported as freight, you may need to meet odd requirements, such as completing a customs clearance request but little more.
In exchange for this, all governments ask that regulations are followed. Some are global, such as customs being satisfied that goods were re-exported, a requirement for accurate descriptions of your goods, so they can be identified.
A carnet with errors in unhelpful and could cause delay, or unseen cost. Your ATA carnet supplier should help you to ensure this is not the case, they should also advise on procedures for using your carnet.
They really are a straightforward document and you should have few issues in the normal course of events. Still worth looking at how a few less common occurrences are handled from a UK perspective.
Managing Carnet Use
Information on the points below is as appears in UK government documents, at the time we collated this in late 2022.
Failing To Present An ATA Carnet To Customs
If you fail to have your carnet seen and stamped by customs when leaving the country you visited, this will not be discharged. Customs authorities from that country have a right to request payment of duty.
They could alternatively agree to proof of current location, provided by customs in the country where the goods are located, including the UK.
Transferring ATA Carnets To Another Person
There are opportunities to allocate use to different people when you organise the carnet. Where required, this is a good approach to choose.
In principle, you can transfer the benefit of a carnet to another person, by contacting the National ATA Carnet Unit. With their agreement, both parties then need to get in touch with the original supplier to request a replacement carnet.
Re-importing Goods In More Than One Consignment
Separate vouchers are needed for each consignment. They should show item numbers from the general list, for the selection being re-imported.
Should you know this is likely to happen when applying for a carnet, ask for sufficient vouchers to cover the need. Alternatively, you can contact your carnet supplier and ask them to assist with extra vouchers.
Deciding Not To Return Items To The UK
Contact customs in the country where goods will remain. Complete any documents they need and ask them to note on the carnet which items are not being returned.
You will also need to complete a C88 (SAD) export declaration in the UK, to replace temporary export status under the carnet. This, along with your carnet should be sent to the National ATA Carnet Unit for clearance.
If you are using an ATA carnet in the UK and goods are to remain, you should contact the National ATA Carnet Unit as soon as you know and before the carnet expires. They will advise on further paperwork to be completed.
What Should You Do If Goods Are Lost Or Stolen
Contacting local customs is the first step if you are overseas on a UK issued carnet. If your goods go missing in the UK, contact the National ATA Carnet Unit.
Notifying your carnet supplier makes sense. Actions on stolen, or lost items vary according to circumstance but there can be situations where a country’s customs body will ask for a substitute carnet, covering remaining items.
Deciding To Destroy Goods Listed On A Carnet
The key is not to do this and contact customs after the event, contact them well before carrying out actions which will dispose of the goods.
UK authorities expect carnet holders to follow procedure. If you plan to destroy any carnet items currently in the UK, contact the National ATA Carnet Unit for permission, at least 5 working days before you do so.
Staying Longer Than The 12 Months Allowed
The process for renewing a carnet is much the same globally. Contact local customs for permission and then your issuer, for a new ATA carnet.
Whilst this is normally available for visitors to the UK, who should contact the National ATA Carnet Unit, the same does not apply in every country. Neither can UK authorities play a part in decisions elsewhere.
As suggested in information on the UK government & ATA carnet use, they are supportive in principle. Practical application is left in the hands of organisations such as Dynamic Dox and UK customs authorities.
You are welcome to talk to our support team at any time. The customs office with primary responsibility for carnet use in the UK is:
HM Revenue and Customs
National ATA Carnet Unit
3 Stanley Street
Telephone: 0300 322 7064