Business winds of change will blow in different ways depending on location but the video’s point on flexibility will be crucial for all.
ATA carnets are a beacon for trade sentiment, as demonstrated during the years around the financial crash in 2008. 190,000 carnets a year worldwide became 150,000, although they had returned to peak numbers prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
2020 saw a drop in use beyond the 2008 fall, with 2021 a little better but still far from indicating bustling trade. Continuing restrictions on travel and activity are a damper on ATA carnet use.
There were localised exceptions, of which we are one. Brexit brought a need for ATA carnets to cover temporary export from the UK to the EU, a significant part of UK trade, which has seen carnet use overall return to pre pandemic levels.
The question for us and more importantly, our clients, is whether trade in 2022 will bring a rise in use across the globe.
Coping With Variable Times
There is a worldwide feeling of the need to return to normal as far as possible, even though the pandemic persists. This does require a more flexible approach, as do environmental compliance and coping with political divergence.
Brexit remains the clear example in Europe, although the Swiss decision to end long running treaty negotiations was almost as much of a shock. A few other EU nations are stamping their feet on issues which affect them.
Nobody is suggesting the EU is about to collapse, an essential part of life for members but there is an increasing trend of looking inwards. In Western nations beyond Europe, the home front is a prominent theme.
The East is to a degree taking a different tack, with countries coming closer together for trade. The global situation is a motivating factor but they are equally aware of their changing needs, no longer a cheap outsourcing centre for the West.
As much as this is challenging for the West, there is also opportunity, with far away nations requiring support for their transition.
A Tool Made To Support Change
Carnets are traditionally used for activity which is transitory by nature, such as film and TV production overseas. This is valuable, although they are also used for business exhibitions, meetings, service visits.
Activities which fit naturally with the type of support UK companies are likely and able to offer across the globe. Their prosperity will depend on accessing changing markets and ATA carnets will play a part.
Environmental triggers, Brexit and fluidity in the workforce are combining to make many companies change. To find new partners, new markets, promote themselves in a wider way, step out of the comfort zone.
The pandemic is the remaining factor but this can not endure indefinitely and regardless, economies can only stall for so long. The probability is that activity will grow and carnet use will increase.
Our ethos on providing them is the same one needed by our clients, for their clients. Great support and practical advice can make ATA carnets in the UK work well for users, more important than the paperwork itself.