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The acronym ATA is a combination of French and English terms "Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission."


The ATA Carnet is an international customs document that permits the tax-free and duty-free temporary export and import of goods. 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 the Carnet 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.

The ATA Carnet simplifies the custom formalities by allowing a single document to be used for clearing goods through Customs in the countries that are part of the ATA Carnet system. Without an ATA Carnet it would be necessary to go through each country's Customs procedures for the temporary admission of goods, i.e. lodging a temporary import bond.

Carnets apply to three broad categories of merchandise: commercial samples, professional equipment and goods for use at exhibitions and fairs.

ATA Carnet allows the temporary importation virtually all types of goods:

  • Goods for display or use at exhibitions, fairs, meetings or similar events
  • Professional Equipment
  • Equipment for the press or for sound or television broadcasting
  • Cinematographic equipment
  • Other equipment - equipment for erection, testing, commissioning, checking, control, maintenance or repair of machinery, plant, means of transport, etc.
  • Vehicles designed or specially adapted for the certain purposes, such as mobile  inspection units, travelling workshops and travelling laboratories
  • Containers, pallets, packings, samples and other goods imported in connection with a commercial operation.