Rule Changes Regarding the Use of ATA Carnets

ATA Carnet

Jointly administered by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Chamber of Commerce through its World Chambers Federation, the ATA Carnet is an international customs document that permits the tax-free and duty-free temporary export and import of goods for up to one year. Carnets apply to three broad categories of merchandise: commercial samples, professional equipment, and goods for use at exhibitions and fairs. With the exception of perishable or consumable items, the product range is nearly limitless. Carnets are regularly used to facilitate movement of everything from display booths to racing yachts.

Prior to October of 2014, all goods traveling under a carnet were exempt from the Electronic Export Information (EEI) filing requirement. Now, many carnet shipments are required to provide the information requested. Some shipments however are exempt, and the exceptions to this requirement are goods valued at less than $2,500.00, unless subject to licensing or other export controls, hand goods traveling under ata carnets, and goods travelling under a US to Canada carnet, again provided that no licensing or export controls are required.

The purpose of the EEI filing is so that the Census Bureau, via the Automated Export System (AES) collects the EEI for the purpose of developing export trade statistics. Other Federal government agencies use the EEI for export control purposes to detect and prevent the export of certain items by unauthorized parties or to unauthorized destinations or end-users. This is done as part of the Federal government’s effort to secure our borders and the international supply chain.

Rules pertaining to carnets issued outside of the US

All goods traveling under foreign carnets to the US, whether hand-carried or shipped, are required to file the EEI through the AES upon re-export from the US. Although a carnet shipment may be exempt, a carnet specialist may suggest filing the EEI, especially during the initial implementation period, to avoid delays at Customs. Failure to file the EEI is sufficient grounds for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to potentially issue penalties against the exporter for violations of the Foreign Trade Regulations.

The Carnet eliminates the need to purchase temporary import bonds. So long as the goods are re-exported within the allotted time frame, no duties or taxes are due. Failure to re-export all or some of the goods listed on ata carnets results in the payment of applicable duties and taxes. Failure to remit those duties results in a claim from the foreign customs service to the importer’s home country.

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