“ATA” is an acronym symbolising a passport for goods, the letters derive from “Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission”. The system is now managed by The ICC WCF World ATA Carnet Council, although began as a customs initiative.
A system for commercial samples had existed since 1952. This was widened in 1961, The Customs Cooperation Council (now The World Customs Organization) adopting the “Customs Convention on the ATA Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods”.
The ATA Convention came into force in July 1963, offering options for commercial samples, professional equipment and goods for presentation at exhibitions. A beginning for an approach which quickly became popular.
The ATA Carnet system continued to be better defined and spread from use by a small number of mainly European countries, to much of the industrialised world.
Other parts of the globe had related systems and in 1990, a convention took place in Istanbul, to widen cooperation. The subsequent agreement combines various regional conventions on the temporary admission of goods into one instrument.
Many countries remain party to the ATA Carnet and Istanbul initiatives. An international guarantee chain has also continued to strengthen, providing assurance to member countries that duties and taxes will be paid if claims arise.
Newer ATA Carnet Countries
The Kingdom of Bahrain joined the ATA Carnet family in June 2014, Indonesia soon after in May 2015. Brazil became a carnet country before hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics, although for financial reasons they are not currently members.
Qatar worked with the international community to strengthen customs ties, with the support of the World Customs Organization. They joined the carnet network in 2018 and now accept a full range of ATA carnets.
Vietnam began accepting carnets in 2022 and other countries are in the pipeline, for a system designed to build cooperation. The Istanbul Convention’s focus on goods intended for humanitarian assistance is a sound reflection of the ATA carnet spirit.
Britain remain at the heart of growing the system, through advice to other countries and representation at World ATA Carnet Councils. Useful to help with expansion and maintain the UK’s international profile.
The Future In Europe
Almost all European countries accept ATA Carnets, including all member countries of the EU. Following Brexit and the UK leaving the customs union, ATA carnets for the EU are now needed for temporary exports from the UK.
Brexit did conclude with a deal, although negotiations are ongoing and the position could change. The carnet system is however working well and amidst other priorities, change in the near future looks unlikely.
The staff at Dynamic Dox will continue to monitor the political and practical position. Our carnet news section carries updates, on developments which are important to our clients.
However the future turns out, we will be ahead of the game and our support team are there to ensure access to whatever system prevails.