4 tips to help you apply for your ATA Carnet

Jul 13, 2022

By Catherine Stephens, Head of International Trade Services at Business West

There is no doubt that most exporting businesses, including those in the film and TV industry, have found the last 18 months challenging. Business West provides services to support film production companies to understand new processes, under the UK-EU Trade Cooperation Agreement, and get film equipment safely to its destination. An ATA Carnet is a customs document that can be used when importing professional equipment temporarily into countries that are part of the ATA Carnet system, allowing duty and tax-free movement of goods, while avoiding delays at customs. If you haven’t applied for one before, the process can seem complicated, so this article has some tips to make it a bit easier.

  1. Prepare well in advance. An ATA Carnet will often be left to the last minute. This is not ideal as Business West and other suppliers are extremely busy. Businesses, like yours, are keen to get back to business, and you need to keep this in mind. It is unlikely we will be able to turn your carnet around within 24-hours. It is likely to be 3-4 days.
  2. Prepare your list of equipment in advance. Create a list (we call it a General List – see image below) of everything you will need to take on your shoot. This will be listed in our CSV template and uploaded to our online platform eCert. You will need to include the description (serial numbers are required in the goods description), number of items, weight, commercial value and country of origin (using ISO country codes).
  3. Register and apply for your ATA Carnet quickly and easily on our online platform eCert (use the QR code below or go to https://bit.ly/3O2qjlE) . This will take you through the entire process from start to finish. You can also get additional assistance on our website (businesswest.co.uk/carnets) where you will find useful blogs, FAQs and a video.
  4. Present your Carnet to Customs for endorsement at every leg of your journey.

A. Leaving the UK, the front cover of the Carnet, export voucher and counterfoil should be validated
B. Arriving at the destination country your importation voucher and counterfoil should be endorsed
C. Leaving the destination country your re-exportation voucher and counterfoil will be stamped
D. And arriving back at the UK your re-importation voucher and counterfoil will need to be validated

Your vouchers must be completed and signed before you give your Carnet to the relevant Customs, they will then stamp the voucher and retain it for their record. They will also stamp and complete the matching counterfoil, which stays with the Carnet as a record for the traveller.

While the world of ATA Carnets might seem a little frustrating at times, taking extra time to prepare for and bringing extra costs, they can be an extremely useful tool, preventing delays at the border and preventing unnecessary duties and taxes from being paid. Hopefully these tips will make life a little easier. Check out our offer in this issue! £140 off your first Carnet.


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