Quest News™

June 18, 2015

ATA Carnet Updates:
FTR Reinstates Exemptions and Indonesia Accepts Carnets


On May 15, 2015, the Census Bureau published the Final Ruling on Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR) reinstatement of exemptions related to temporary exports, Carnets and shipments under a temporary import bond. The Census Bureau is finalizing this rule without change and can be read here.  

On this same day, Indonesia joined the ATA Carnet System, becoming the 85th country/territory to accept the use of carnets.  With the introduction of ATA Carnets, Indonesia now accepts carnets for items to be used at exhibitions & fairs and professional equipment; however, carnets will not be valid for commercial samples entering the country. 

ATA Carnets

Commonly known as “Merchandise Passports”, ATA Carnets serve as international customs documents that allow goods intended to be temporarily shipped into a country, to be processed duty free and tax free while concurrently simplifying standard customs entry procedures.

Carnets accept virtually all types of goods, both cargo shipped and hand carried, as long as they fit into one of three main categories:

  • Commercial Samples include items that can be used by a sales representative with the purpose of demonstrating a product or enticing sales.  These items can include laptops, apparel, jewelry, art, or even robots!
  • Professional Equipment, or “tools of the trade”, includes items required to perform one’s work.  This consists of medical equipment, musical instruments, scientific equipment, electrical equipment, construction materials and even special purpose aircraft.  This category also includes materials needed to maintain, test or service equipment.
  • Exhibitions and Trade Shows Items include booths, signs and video equipment to be used at events such as trade fairs, meetings, conventions, theatrical performances, and athletic or sporting competitions. 

*It is important to note that ATA Carnets do not cover explosives, perishables items, postal traffic or items that are intended to be left behind.  These can include goods such as food or brochures.

In addition to covering a wide variety of goods, carnets significantly reduce typical costs and burdens associated with normal customs procedures by eliminating payments associated to duties, taxes and temporary importation bonds - ultimately reducing the cost to the exporter.

Carnets also facilitate international business by replacing extensive customs documentation with one application and lessening paperwork for both customs officials and Carnet holders.  The carnet application can be used for an unlimited number of trips for up to one year in those countries that accept the use of carnets.  Simplifying the process even further, carnets do not require that all merchandise listed on the General list be shipped on each trip, so items can be split up for easy entry and re-entry of goods.

Obtaining a Carnet is quick and easy, and as a distributor of Carnets, Avalon continues to be proactive in providing updated information regarding Carnets. For more information about Carnets, please view Avalon's Carnet Brochure or visit the United States Council for International Business' website at www.uscib.org. Avalon provides a full range of Carnet services as well as bonds and they can easily be obtained by writing to carnets@avalonrisk.com or by calling our Carnet hotline at (650) 652-6020.

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