Issues with professionally prepared ATA carnets are rare. HMRC are aware that the system is business friendly and quite like carnets themselves, we simply wanted to offer guidance in case a rare event does occur.
Having supplied around 18,000 carnets, there isn’t too much our team will not have come across. Still worth noting that HMRC have a specialist ATA carnet unit in Salford, who can be contacted on 03000 579060. from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Failing to sort out any problems will be even more unusual than having them but we should still look at what can cause them and actions you could then take.
Why Carnets Can Fail
When they first use an ATA carnet, people can be concerned about getting procedure right. This honestly is not complex, aspects of the paperwork are colour coded, we will help at any time, so will customs officers.
The main points to bear in mind to avoid a glitch are:
- An ATA carnet is the equivalent of a passport for your goods. This needs to be presented to customs and normally endorsed by them at all appropriate borders.
- Items need a clear description, to identify them individually. Neither can a list of items be modified, or added to, once your carnet has been issued.
- If the use of any items has changed, or they have been destroyed, lost, or stolen, you should always notify customs in the country where this occurred.
- Where a carnet has itself been lost, or stolen, or will expire before departure, contacting your carnet supplier and/or customs is an important step.
- Although on a carnet, goods relating to special prohibitions, or restrictions should be suitably cleared. An ATA carnet by itself is not an exemption.
Even when any of the above have occurred, problems can often be solved. Circumstances can change in business, or in life, the key is communication, with your carnet supplier and with customs wherever you are.
As long as you use a carnet for goods which were intended for return to the country of origin, in almost all cases, there will a solution. Even where not, there are avenues available.
Disagreeing With HMRC
Customs authorities in most countries will have a review, or appeal procedure. The UK approach offers a reasonable example.
HMRC do have an internal review procedure, although in principle ATA carnet matters are not included in this. You may still see an offer of a review in communication, which you could choose to utilise.
That would be carried out by HMRC staff other than those who dealt with your shipment. If this is not satisfactory, or a choice you dislike, there are further options.
HMRC are signed up to alternative dispute resolution (mediation) and offer an online route to apply. You could alternatively go to an independent tribunal, who are there to review both sides of the argument.
Once again, we would state how unusual problems are with well prepared carnets. If you have any concerns past or present, by all means contact the support team at Dynamic Dox, who are there to help.