“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.
New ATA Carnet Countries
The Kingdom of Bahrain joined the ATA Carnet family in June 2014, Indonesia following soon after in May 2015. Brazil became the 75th operational member country just before the 2016 Olympic Games, perfect timing.
Qatar has worked with the international community to strengthen customs ties and been encouraged to do so by the World Customs Organization. As we write this, Qatar are finalising detail, training staff, ready to join the ATA Carnet network.
Others are in the pipeline, for a system designed to build mutual cooperation. The Istanbul Convention’s focus on goods intended for humanitarian assistance a sound reflection of the spirit the ATA Carnet approach helps to build.
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
At present, although almost all European countries accept ATA Carnets, they are not needed from the UK, due to the existing customs union.
Several international business councils have taken a similar line on the impact of the UK’s vote to leave the EU. In essence that we remain members and for the foreseeable future, there will be no change.
They will continue to monitor the situation, as will the staff at Dynamic Dox, important to us and our clients. However the future turns out, we will be ahead of the game and our support team there to ensure access to whatever system prevails.