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ATA Frequently Asked Questions


1. How do I apply for an ATA Carnet?

To obtain a Carnet, you need to submit an online application through our ecarnet system. You will be able to declare all the goods you need the Carnet to cover and pay for any applicable fees.

Note Carnets are physical documents that will need to be printed by our officers. Once issued, the Carnet can either be posted to you or it can be collected from the issuing office.

2. What can an ATA Carnet be used for?

The ATA Carnet is a temporary admission document which acts as a passport for goods for three main categories of goods:

  • Commercial samples (goods to be shown or demonstrated to potential buyers i.e. jewellery, clothing etc)

  • Goods for presentation or use at trade fairs, shows, conferences, works of art to be exhibited at galleries and museums etc

  • Professional equipment (tools and equipment required to perform a paid commercial activity abroad, goods for testing and evaluation, theatrical effects, orchestras, racing vehicles*, broadcasting equipment, specially adapted vehicles** etc). Horses for racing purposes, commercial shows or breeding. Professional equipment must be used by, or under the personal supervision of the holder or his nominated representative

*Carnets can only be issued for racing vehicles that are transported to the EU or any other Carnet country under transport contract (i.e. by freight forwarder / haulier). Any such vehicles can only be used on a dedicated race-track or on the roads closed to public. If the vehicle is road worthy and is being driven to the country of destination by the owner– then the Carnet is not required (the same applies to personal vehicles being towed or transported by the owner (i.e. motorbike transported to EU in a van by the owner; car being towed behind a motorhome vehicle driven by the owner etc).

** Specially adapted vehicles can be driven on public roads and include any vehicle with permanently fitted equipment (i.e. broadcasting vans, exhibition trailers, water filter trucks etc)  

3. How many times can an ATA Carnet be used?

An ATA Carnet can be used for multiple visits to any number of countries specified in the itinerary during the period of the validity of the document.

4. How do I use an ATA Carnet?

We have created a guide to assist ATA Carnet holders with using the document correctly. This will help with minimising the exposure to potential claims from the foreign Customs.

View guide
5. What countries can I use an ATA Carnet for?

A. Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Australia (includes Tasmania), Azores (select European Union as destination)

B. Bahrain, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana

C. Canada, Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, China, Chile, Corsica (select "European Union" as destination)

EU European Union (when applying for a Carnet to any of the 27 Member States, select "European Union" as destination in the system). If the goods are being driven to EU and are going to any MS other than France, then the Holder should also apply for an additional visit + a couple of transits (in addition to their intended visit) in case both the French Customs and the Destination Customs decide to endorse the Carnet. Additional visits / transits are not required if flying.

F. Faroe Islands

FR French overseas departments and territories (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane and Reunion, New Caledonia and its dependents of Wallis and Futuna Islands, French Polynesia (includes Tahiti) as well as St Barthelemy, St Martin, Mayotte and Saint Pierre et Miquelon). 

G. Gibraltar

H. Hong Kong

I. Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Ivory Coast

J. Japan

K. Kazakhstan, Korea (Republic of), Kuala Lumpur (select Malaysia as destination)

L. Lebanon, Lesotho, Liechtenstein 

M. Macao, Macedonia, Madagascar, Madeira (select European Union as destination), Malaysia (includes Kuala Lumpur, Sabah and Sarawak), Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco (select "European Union" as destination), Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco

N. Namibia, New Zealand, Norway

P. Pakistan

Q. Qatar

R. Russian Federation

S. Sabah (select Malaysia as destination), Sarawak (select Malaysia as destination), Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, SACCU (select Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia or Swaziland as destination), Sri Lanka, Switzerland (includes Liechtenstein)

T. Taiwan (not covered by ATA Carnet; a separate Carnet is available from London Chamber), Tasmania (select Australia as destination), Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey

U. Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, USA (includes District of Columbia and Puerto Rico)

V. Vietnam

6. What are Carnet requirements for specific countries and EU?

Click on the below link for further information on EU and other countries in the scheme.

Check the Carnet requirements
7. What is the Carnet security bond and why is it required?

The Carnet provides a guarantee to the foreign Customs that all duties, taxes etc will be paid to them if the conditions under which they allow these into the country are breached. The security is in place to protect the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as the UK National Guaranteeing Organisation, against foreign Customs claims in cases where the Carnet has been misused and the Carnet Holder is unable to settle charges due. 

Forms of security that we currently accept are as follows: Banker's draft / cash deposit for the full security amount (refundable after the Carnet has been discharged), Bank guarantee issued by Bank of Scotland plc, Barclays Bank plc, HSBC Bank plc, Lloyds TSB Bank plc, Natwest Bank, Santander UK plc, Standard Chartered Bank, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (guarantee is returned to your bank for cancellation after the Carnet has been discharged), and the Carnet Security Scheme (CSS) Guarantee - an in-house service by which the Carnet user can arrange for the security to be provided, without having to supply either Banker's Draft, cash or Bank Guarantee. Using CSS- a non-refundable, one off payment -means we can provide you with a 'While You Wait' processing service and there is no 'freezing' of assets or funds (as with other institutions), but please note the Carnet Holder is still liable and responsible for payment of duties if the Carnet is misused.

8. How do I apply for CPD/China Taiwan Carnet?

CPD/China-Taiwan Carnets are used exclusively for temporary admission to Taiwan*.

To apply for a Taiwan Carnet, please complete the below excel template and email to the team. We will verify whether the application has been completed correctly and send you a quote for the issuing fee and security as well as the relevant forms to be completed and signed.

*If your itinerary includes other Carnet countries, then you must also apply for an ATA Carnet.

Download template
9. What specific requirements does each country in the Carnet scheme have?

Bahrain – Trade Fairs and Exhibitions only.

Canada – Commercial Samples only. However, if you wish to have a Carnet for Professional Equipment category we will require a letter of indemnity on your company headed paper, accepting responsibility if the Carnet is refused.

Channel Islands – the Chamber is able to issue Carnets for companies based in the UK as well as Channel Island based companies if so requested (Carnets issued for Channel Islands companies must be validated by Channel Islands Customs before being used abroad).

China - All Carnets used in China must be registered on the Chinese customs database. For HAND CARRIED goods Carnet will need to be registered with CCPIT at the time of clearing Chinese Customs. For FREIGHTED goods Carnet will need to be pre-declared by the Chinese Customs Broker before goods arrive in China.

European Union - If you are travelling anywhere other than France, then include two additional visits and transits into your itinerary (as some MS can insist on stamping the Carnet in addition to France). If your goods are passing through the EU en-route to a non-EU country (i.e. you're driving to a Trade Fair in Switzerland and pass through France), then you must include visits to both Countries + transits into the itinerary (i.e. 2 visits to EU, 2 transits to EU, 1 visit to Switzerland and 2 transits to Switzerland). Hauliers will need to ensure that you have the Summary Declaration,  Kent Pass and MRN to pass through the ferry port (Hauliers also must pre-notify EU Port of the arrival, i.e. PBN for Ireland, Portbase pre-notification for Netherlands, etc).

India - Trade Fairs / Exhibitions; display or demonstration before any department of the Central or State Government or a Union Territory Administration; meeting conference or congress organized by any company or organization; Professional Equipment. All Carnets entering and leaving India must be registered on FICCI’s electronic system (done at the time of clearing Indian Customs)

Indonesia - Trade Fairs / Exhibitions and Professional Equipment only at present.

Kazakhstan - Trade Fairs / Exhibitions and Professional Equipment only at present.

Lebanon - Trade Fairs / Exhibitions and Professional Equipment only at present.

Mexico - Mexican customs require a translation of the list of goods into Spanish. To facilitate importation holders must notify Mexican customs in advance through CANACO’s Website.

Mongolia - Trade Fairs / Exhibitions and Professional Equipment only at present.

Morocco - Trade Fairs / Exhibitions only. However, we would accept a letter of indemnity on your company headed paper for other categories, accepting responsibility if the Carnet is refused.

Pakistan - Trade Fairs / Exhibitions and Professional Equipment only at present.

Qatar – Trade Fairs / Exhibitions only (Box C of the Carnet should state name of the Exhibition and the venue).

Russian Federation - Box B of the Carnet should state passport number + date of issue of the person travelling with the Carnet. It is advisable that the General List is translated into Russian to facilitate Customs clearance into the country. Also customers are advised to engage a local Customs Broker who will facilitate the Customs Clearance process.

Spain - Carnets are compulsory in the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla.

Tunisia - Trade Fairs / Exhibitions and Professional Equipment only at present.

Turkey - Only named representatives listed in Box B. Represented by, on the importation and re-exportation vouchers will be allowed to sign the importation and re-exportation declarations in Boxes F. Turkish agent (or company / person that will be involved with the goods in Turkey) must be stated in Box B of the Carnet. It is advisable that the Holder carries a General List (in Excel format) on a USB drive as this may have to be uploaded into the Turkish Customs database.

UAE - Trade Fairs / Exhibitions only.

United States of America – Commercial Samples and Professional Equipment only at present. As of January 26, 2010, goods entering the United States via ocean vessel are required to have an Importer Security Filing (ISF) filed by an ISF importer. While two of the required data elements are from the ocean carrier, 10 others are required from the ISF importer. ATA Carnets are exempt from the ISF bond requirement. However, there are penalties that may be imposed for breaches of the ISF filing. CBP link USCIB link.

Vietnam - Goods for display or use at exhibitions, fairs, meetings, or similar events.

10. What is the National Carnet Unit (NCU)?

National Carnet Unit is a branch of the HMRC that deals exclusively with ATA Carnets. You should contact NCU for the following scenarios only:

  1. Your goods have returned from abroad, but the Carnet has not been endorsed on re-importation (request Certificate of Location)

  2. You have a Substitute or Replacement Carnet that needs to be validated (before being sent abroad to be married up with the goods)

  3. You are a NON-UK Carnet Holder and your Carnet is about to expire (contact NCU to request permission to extend your stay in the UK)

  4. Your goods have been imported into the UK on a NON-UK Carnet and you wish to divert them to home use (import them into UK permanently).

Telephone: +44 (0)30 0322 7064

11. What Ports/Customs offices can process ATA Carnets?

1 - UK Inland Offices Find the list here. Note that IBFs can only process Carnets for Dover, Euroshuttle and Holyhead - for other ports, go to the port directly and use facilities there).

2- Dover and Eurotunnel – Find the list here. 

a) Holders driving to EU in a personal vehicle or a van - must get their Carnet processed at STOP 24 both outbound and on return (other inland border facilities can process personal vehicles, but these sites are primarily geared towards freight traffic).

b) Hauliers / freight forwarders must use pre-notification facility

3- Eurostar (St Pancras) – Carnet Holders leaving UK by Eurostar should notify Border Force in advance by calling +44(0)20 7841 6410

4- Holyhead – if travelling from Holyhead to Dublin by ferry it is best to pre-notify UK and Irish Customs at least 24hr in advance of travelling (state your vehicle registration no, Carnet no and date and time of departure). Carnet Holders driving a company vehicle must obtain a pre-boarding notification number PBN inbound and outbound by emailing with the following details: scan of the Carnet Front Cover and General list and details of sailing (date, time, ferry, port of exit and entry). You will get the PBN no by email. Hauliers will need to apply for PBN online. PBN is mandatory for ROI.

a) Leaving UK via Holyhead - go to Roadking Truckstop, Parc Cybi, Kingsland, Holyhead, LL65 2YQ to get your Carnet stamped (you can also use inland sites at Birmingham or Warrington)

b) Entering Ireland (Dublin Port) go to goods to declare area.

c) Leaving Ireland (Dublin Port) - cars and vans go to T7 section after the tunnel or New Custom House, Promenade Road (beside the Circle K roundabout). Opening hours 8 a.m. – 22.00 p.m. phone 353-1-8776208. Freight goes to Terminal 11, Bond Drive Extension - Customs can be found in a portacabin. Opening hours 24/7.

d) Returning to UK go to the Border Force freight shed (best to ask for directions at the port)

5 - Northern Ireland – Ports:

a) DAERA facility- Duncrue Street, Belfast, BT3 9BJ is manned 24/7 by BF staff and accommodates Carnets.

b) Shed 66 at Larne Port is also manned 24/7 and is used for both inbound and outbound movements.

c) Warrenpoint is the 3rd site processing Carnets

The above ports can be contacted by the following email (pre-notification is not required)  

6- Northern Ireland – Airports:

a) Belfast City operating hours will be changing imminently due to the withdrawal of flights.  Carnets + goods can be taken to Belfast Docks due to the proximity (or pre-notify to confirm if officers will/can be on site).

b) Belfast International is 24/7, but only has BF at the international arrivals hall.  There is no presence at domestic arrivals, so advance notice to is required (upon arrival, ask the information desk (located at domestic arrivals) to notify Border Force)

7- ALL OTHER UK OFFICES PROCESSING CARNETS – Access the list. Pre-notification is not required for airports - use VAT reclaim desk before checking in and red channel on arrival.

12. Are there any particular requirements to travel with an ATA Carnet to the European Union?

Hand Carried goods / goods in baggage (or goods driven in private vehicle): 

There are differences in the interpretation of the rules by Customs in each Member State visited, therefore, we recommend one of the three following options when visiting EU with hand carried goods for a commercial activity*:

  1. Contact the receiving Customs in advance and query if the Carnet will be required for the goods you are carrying in your baggage*.

  2. Get a Carnet for your 1st visit, use the red channel at the destination and ask the receiving Customs if Carnet will be required for future visits.

  3. Obtain a Carnet for the goods for each visit – this would provide certainty each time.

When adopting options 1 or 2 please share any information obtained with so that we can update this guidance for the benefit of future visitors to the EU. 

* Currently French Customs are requesting ATA Carnets for any goods used in a professional or commercial capacity (whether hand carried or not), hence, we would recommend getting a Carnet for EU for anyone passing through France or visiting France in a commercial capacity.

Note 1 - there are indications that ATA Carnets may not be required for hand carried music instruments for the EU. Individual Customs officers are, however, within their rights to request security to be deposited for high value items. We suggest that you contact the receiving Customs in advance and check if there are any specific requirements for that Member State (or obtain a Carnet for the first visit and check the requirements when crossing the border (red channel). If you are a member of FAC, ISM or MU, then you should speak to them first if you are planning to apply for a Carnet. 

Note 2 - Any musicians that may also be performing in non-EU destinations will most likely need a Carnet for those destinations (in which case it is also worth including EU into the Carnet itinerary).

Carnet Holders driving to EU (via Kent) in a personal vehicle or van must get their Carnet processed at STOP 24 both outbound and on return (other inland border facilities can process personal vehicles, but these sites are primarily geared towards freight traffic). 

Eurostar (St Pancras) - Carnet Holders leaving UK by Eurostar should notify Border Force in advance by calling +44(0)20 7841 6410.

Goods shipped against transport contract (i.e. by haulier) or in a company vehicle: 

We would recommend getting a Carnet for any goods that are being moved against a transport contract or tools of trade transported in a company vehicle.

The driver will either have to be listed in the Box B of the Carnet or carry a Letter of Authorisation signed by the director of the company stated in Box A of the Carnet (field showing the name of the authorised representative can be left blank for the Haulier to complete once they have allocated the driver). Carnet Holders using the Haulier must complete Exportation and Importation Voucher (section F) before the goods are collected from their premises and leave signature to the driver. Before heading back to the UK, Re-exportation and Re-Importation Vouchers should be completed with the signature left to the driver. 

Driver must sign the Section F of the relevant Voucher before handing the Carnet over to the Customs (refer to the following guide). 

Hauliers must get a GVM where applicable (see the last section of these FAQs33)

Hauliers must use the pre-notification facility (note that IBFs can only process Carnets for Dover, Euroshuttle and Holyhead - for other ports, go to the port directly and use facilities there).

Dover and Eurotunnel: Anyone driving in a personal vehicle or van must go to STOP 24 both outbound and inbound to get their Carnet processed.

13. What goods can be moved between GB and Northern Ireland?

Hand carried goods or goods driven in a personal vehicle: 

These goods can be declared to temporary admission using a form C108 (with exception of horses intended for racing or commercial activities. Horses can go on an ATA Carnet) or Duplicate List (prepare 2 copies of the Goods List - including full description of items, quantities and serial numbers + a completed form C&E1246).

Goods moved by freight forwarders or FPOs:

These goods can either be declared via Customs Declarations or use an ATA Carnet.

GVM is required for any vehicles over 7.5t (empty or loaded).

Goods moving to Republic of Ireland (via Northern Ireland):

We would recommend using ATA Carnets for temporary admission to ROI.

Any Carnets passing through NI en-route to ROI must be endorsed in NI (this will include Validation, Exportation and Importation). There are no Inland Customs Facilities on the ROI side after crossing from NI so it is important to get everything endorsed in NI.

NI Ports endorsing Carnets:

  1. DAERA facility- Duncrue Street, Belfast, BT3 9BJ is manned 24/7 by BF staff and accommodates Carnets

  2. Shed 66 at Larne Port is also manned 24/7 and is used for both inbound and outbound movements

  3. Warrenpoint is the 3rd site processing Carnets

​The above ports can be contacted by email (pre-notification is not required) 

NI Airports endorsing Carnets:

  1. Belfast City operating hours will be changing imminently due to the withdrawal of flights.  Carnets + goods can be taken to Belfast Docks due to the proximity (or pre-notify to confirm if officers will/can be on site)

  2. Belfast International is 24/7, but only has BF at the international arrivals hall.  There is no presence at domestic arrivals, so advance notice to is required (upon arrival, ask the information desk (located at domestic arrivals) to notify Border Force)

If the goods are returning to GB via NI – then re-exportation will also be done at NI (or ROI if flying from a ROI airport).

Goods owned by a NI company / individual and located in NI do not need a Carnet for EU. 

NI residents or companies that require a Carnet for travelling to non-EU destinations must apply for a Carnet with the NI Chamber.

14. What information do I need to provide when applying for a Carnet?
  1. Details of the Carnet holder (company that is responsible for payment of any duties to foreign Customs if the document is misused).

  2. Details of the person(s) who will be travelling with the goods.

  3. Intended use of the goods.

  4. List of goods taken. All the goods must be individually itemised with each item having its specific description (i.e. make, serial number), weight and value to facilitate Customs identification and prevent substitution of goods. 

Access here for further information on the Carnet requirements.

15. How do I describe my goods on an ATA Carnet?

General requirements:

  1. All goods must be individually itemised with each item having its specific description (i.e. make, serial number), weight and value to facilitate Customs identification and prevent substitution of goods. Only the items with identical description can be grouped together.

  2. Packaging cannot be used for describing goods, i.e. “box of”, “bag of”, etc. are not acceptable. You can, however, state that the described item is packed in a bag or a box, i.e. “set of Canon Camera lenses 80-200mm, s/n 1234, packed in a box”)

  3. Cables – cables can be described as “set of cables” with number of pieces being 1.

  4. Toolkits – hand tools can be itemised as “toolkit” and must show weight. If the value of the toolkit is higher than £150.00 the description must also state the no of pieces in the set. Any electrical tools must be itemised separately as the term "toolkit" only applies to non electrical hand tools.

  5. All electrical items require serial numbers to be stated (if the item does not have one or it is illegible, then state NSN at the end of the description).

  6. Values declared must be retail values for new items (or if the goods are used, then state replacement value).

Requirements for specific types of goods:

Make, model, length, registration number (if applicable). Outboard engines as well as any other non-standard equipment must be itemised separately. Boats for personal use, transported by the owner do not need a Carnet (unless going to an official competition, exhibition or similar commercial event)

Title, Author and publisher must be stated

All films must give titles and footage.

Must say what the garments are i.e.: jacket, dress, skirt with as much details as possible i.e. brand, colour and style number

ATA Carnets for unfinished bespoke suits taken abroad for fitting can only be issued for Switzerland. Temporary admission and Return Goods Relief (RGR) should be utilised for exportation to any other country, as long as the suits do not increase in value + are not processed in any way whilst abroad.

Concert / musical equipment (electrical and non-electrical)
Generic description, make, model and serial number (if applicable). For example: Acoustic guitar, Yamaha F310 (nsn)

Display stands
For panels, give sizes.  If knockdown stands give either trade name, e.g. Marler Hayley and serial number with area and weight of stand when erected and at exhibition site.  OR full breakdown and size of each panel (photographs useful). Note – if the holder is taking stands abroad to be built for the exhibition and this is being used by a local exhibitor (i.e. Swiss company in a Swiss exhibition) the Holder may be asked to prove that the income has been declared to the local tax authorities (this doesn’t apply for UK stands being built for a UK exhibitor as the financial transaction for this service would have occurred in the UK).

Electrical items (includes computers, scientific equipment, electrical musical instruments etc)
Generic description, trade names (make), model, serial numbers.  If no serial numbers then holder should either:

  1. state that there are none (i.e. NSN).

  2. state the item is a prototype (if applicable).

For example: Camera, Canon EOS-1, s/n 12345

Generic description, make (if known), material, dimensions (for tables).

Sex, age, colour, hands and name.  Passport details. Horse tack can be described as a set (i.e. set of horse tack including 2stirrups, 1 saddle etc).

Individual description and stock numbers, stating carat weight (of gold as well as individual precious stones) and total gram weights. Colour of the gold must be stated to allow for easier Customs identification. This can be abbreviated as YG or WG with the key to abbreviations given at the end of the list. Actual or estimated carat weight of any stones MUST be given (photographs mandatory for Israel and Russia). Earrings and cufflinks should be itemised as “pairs”, unless shipped as single items.

For example: Yellow gold (9ct) diamond and sapphire ring (D=1ct, S=2ct)

Loose precious stones (polished stones only).
Loose stones must be in sealable stone packets which may be itemised by the packet.  If weight per stone is less than 0.1 gm, then the number of stones need not be stated Carat weight or grams necessary:

“Sealable packet of loose diamonds (30)”

Uncut (rough) diamonds require a Kimberley Process Certificate

Military goods
Generic description, make, model, serial number (export / import licences must be obtained where required).

Oriental carpets
Generic description, size, colour, name (if any), weight, number of knots. 

Type i.e. oil giving title and name of artist as well as the year it was made (if known). 

Pearls are invariably listed as a strand rather than one item for example: “7-7.5mm cultured freshwater pearl strands”.

Photographic film
No polaroid film allowed.  For other types of film give number of rolls and types of film, and state that film is unprocessed.

All names or serial numbers must be stated i.e. individually itemised.

State the type, size, area or weight.

Note furs cannot be sent on a Carnet to Norway.

Theatrical effects
State the name of the show at the end of the list / comments box (i.e. “theatrical set and props for Les Miserables”). Descriptions can be less detailed than with other categories of goods, but the Customs still need to be able to identify goods taken i.e. “Jean Valjean costume comprising hat, jacket, trousers and shoes”, “Complete stage comprising 8 2mx3m floor sections”). Electrical equipment (music equipment, special effects machines etc) must be itemised in line with usual electrical items requirements – make, model, serial number.

Hand tools can be itemised as “toolkit” and must show weight. If the value of the toolkit is higher than £150.00 the description must also state the no of pieces in the set. Any electrical tools must be itemised separately as the term "toolkit" only applies to non electrical hand tools. If the applicant chooses to give more detail, itemise and individually value, this acceptable i.e. "Toolkit containing - hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, drillbits and hex keys".

UAV (drones, etc)
Make, model, serial number. Drones can be subject to Customs Restrictions in some countries. Check with the receiving Customs whether your goods may require additional permits or licences before applying for a Carnet.

Vehicles (including motorbikes)
Must state the chassis and engine number as well as make. 

ATA Carnets can only be issued for cars / motorbikes (when transported to the country of temporary admission under transport / paid contract) for the following use: 

  1. “Trade Fairs and Exhibitions” - in this case the Holder should provide the Issuing Chamber with a copy of the Exhibitor Permit* confirming that the vehicle will be exhibited at the specific event (* issuing Chamber needs to receive a copy of the Exhibitor Permit for non-European events only). 

  2. “Professional Equipment” - vehicles for racing, test driving or race support (i.e. breakdown trucks supporting an official racing event). In this case the Holder should provide issuing Chamber with a written confirmation** (i.e copy of the Race Participation Certificate) or a letter from the race organisers** showing that the Holder is taking part in a race or providing support vehicles for the race (** issuing Chamber needs to receive a copy of the Certificate or Letter for non-European events only).

  3. “Professional Equipment” - specially adapted vehicles (i.e. broadcasting vehicles, exhibition trailers, catering vans, water filtration trucks etc). Equipment built into the vehicle should be listed separately 

Specially adapted vehicles can be driven on public roads, provided they are roadworthy, insured for use abroad and have breakdown cover.

16. How do I work out my itinerary (no. of Exits, Visits and Transits)?

You will have to have a clear idea of how the goods will be travelling to their destination in order to work out the required itinerary. Exits from UK are counted separately to visits and transits. For example - travelling to USA and Canada, without returning to the UK in between, will require 1 exit, 1 visit to USA and 1 visit to Canada. If the goods are returning to the UK in between, then you'd need 2 exits, 1 visit to USA and 1 visit to Canada. Naturally if the return journey is via USA, then you'd need to apply for 2 visits to USA etc.

Things to bear in mind:

When driving through EU to a non-EU country (for example a visit to Turkey) - you must ensure that you also have a pair of vouchers for the return journey - so your itinerary would contain 1 exit, 2 visits to EU, 2 transits to EU and 1 visit to Turkey (transits are included in case French or Greek Customs request them).

When driving to an EU country via Switzerland (for example a visit to Italy) - you'd need 1 exit, 2 transits to EU, 2 transits for Switzerland and 3 visits to EU (transits are included in case French Customs request them for transiting via France in both directions). 

If in doubt as to what could be required for your EU trip - either contact the issuing Chamber for advice or add a couple of additional sets of Vouchers (exits, visits and transits) to your itinerary to be on a safe side. Note that you can always request more Vouchers from the issuing Chamber if required (see FAQs26).

17. Can I put consumable goods on a Carnet?

The only instance when consumable / perishable goods are allowed on a Carnet is if they are being exhibited at a Trade Fair or similar event (note that this excludes alcohol, fuel and cigarettes - which must be declared to Customs separately). The comments box at the end of the General List will have to specify that the goods will be displayed at an exhibition / trade fair and will be returning to the UK afterwards. 

Any perishables that will not be repatriated CANNOT go on a Carnet.

The same applies for any goods that are intended for processing or repair (you will need to use OPR and IPR instead).

18. How do I get the best value for money when applying for ATA Carnet?
  1. Carnets are valid for 12 months - try to include any countries that you could potentially visit during that period into the itinerary.

  2. Include all the possible items you could take abroad in a 12 month period on the Carnet (you'd need to ensure that correct items are declared for each visit. For example if you're visiting Switzerland first and are only taking the first 10 items on the list, then all declarations for that trip would have to show 1-10 for the items declared etc).

  3. If you are attending an event with another person(s) that is also there in a commercial capacity, it will be cheaper to combine all the goods on one document (ensure that the name(s) of any persons travelling with those goods are listed in Box B of the Carnet to allow them to also use the document if required).

  4. Regular Carnet users can get discounted issuing fees by becoming a member of London Chamber. Find out more for information on LCCI membership.

  5. When providing security - lodging the full security amount as a deposit / bankers draft would ensure that this is refunded to you once the Carnet is returned and discharged. Regular users should also consider setting up a continuing guarantee as this could reduce security costs considerably.

19. Can I sell off a Carnet?

Customs may allow the goods to be sold, on an exceptional basis, in which case the Carnet must be regularised correctly by the host Customs (Duty Paid Receipt number written on the Re-exportation Counterfoil and copy of the Duty Paid Receipt attached to the Carnet when returned to the issuing Chamber after use). Failure to obtain approval for selling the goods from the host Customs will result in a payment of duty, taxes, administrative charges, as well as a penalty.

Note for exporters: LCCI can help you with lodging customs entries / declarations to support your permanent exports or imports into UK or with special procedures. Please see here for further information.

20. Can dual use or Controlled goods be included on a Carnet?

Yes, however it is the Carnet Holders responsibility to obtain relevant export and import licenses for countries to be visited or crossed in transit.

For U.K. information please contact:
Export Control Organisation, E: or Arts Council, E: for art and antiques.

21. How long can I stay in the country I am visiting?

ATA Carnets are valid for 12 months from the date of issue. Note, however, that some countries can place restrictions on how long the goods can stay there.

Please ensure that the receiving Customs are clear on how long your goods will be staying in the country (time limit is usually fixed according to the length of the stay / to coincide with the return flight). The time limit can also be fixed according to the intended use (i.e. exhibition goods could be limited to 6 months maximum stay in some countries).

Time limit will be indicated on the Importation Counterfoil. You will need to contact the host Customs and request extension if you need to stay in the country longer than indicated on the Importaiton Counterfoil.

If your goods have to stay at the destination beyond the validity of the Carnet, then you may have to request a Replacement Carnet (FAQS27).

22. Can I authorise someone to apply for and / or use the Carnet on my behalf?

Agent applying for a Carnet - If an Agent is applying for a Carnet on your behalf, then you must authorise them in writing (on your company letterhead). 

Agent using the Carnet on your behalf - You may authorise an Agent to handle the Carnet through the Customs on your behalf, however, you will still be responsible for any declarations made. The name of the representative must be stated in Box B of the Carnet (if this is not the case, then the Agent will need to be provided with a Letter of Authorisation by the Carnet Holder). 

Note that the goods must be used abroad under the supervision of the UK company named in Box A of the Carnet front cover (goods cannot be sent to the overseas country and left with / or used by the local company unsupervised, as the host Customs are likely to interpret this as goods being hired out - which is not allowed on ATA Carnets). You must obtain receiving Customs' approval if you are aiming to hire the goods out abroad or leave the goods unattended.

23. Are partial exports / split consignments allowed on a carnet (I am taking different goods to different countries)?

Yes - any combination of items on the General List may be taken, however, you must ensure that only the items that have been taken are declared on the relevant Carnet Vouchers / Counterfoils.

In cases of split consignments, you must ensure that you apply for sufficient number of Vouchers (visits) to cover the planned movements (i.e. if you are taking 100 items to Switzerland, but plan to bring them back to the UK in two separate consignments then you need to apply for 2 exits out of the UK and 2 visits to Switzerland).

Please note that some countries may have specific requirements:

Qatar - Importation in multiple split consignments is not allowed. However, importing only specific items from the general list is allowed under the condition that the same imported items are re-exported in 1 consignment.

24. I have used up all the available Vouchers in the Carnet - How do I get more?

Extra Vouchers can be purchased from the ecarnet website if the Carnet is still valid and an extra CSS payment may be needed to be purchased as well if outside of the CSS period initially requested. London Chamber may send you an additional Invoice for CSS if it’s also a different country than you originally applied for as.

25. My Carnet is about to expire - Can it be extended (Replacement Carnet)?

Some Customs authorities allow extension of the temporary admission by accepting Replacement Carnets (note that Replacement must be issued before the original Carnet expires).

Replacement Carnets are issued by the Chamber that issued the original Carnet. The new Carnet must be validated by the National Carnet Unit before being used abroad. Holder must present both the new and existing Carnet to the host Customs to close off the original Carnet and transfer liability to the Replacement.

Following countries DO NOT need prior approvals for Replacement Carnets (you can request the Replacement Carnet from your issuing Chamber directly): Belarus, Brazil, Chile, China, European Union, Hong Kong, Korea, Macao, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, UAE.

Thailand – You must get permission in writing from Thailaind Customs requesting a replacement Carnet before applying for a Replacement Carnet with the London Chamber. This proof must be suppled to us before we can Issue the Replacement.

Following countries REQUIRE prior approval (extension of the temporary admisison must be requested from the host Customs before the issuing Chamber can issue the Replacement):

Australia - Complete Form B257 and e-mail to VECCI for approval before the original Carnet expires. Once you have obtained approval, forward a copy to your issuing Chamber in the UK and request a Replacement Carnet.

Canada - Contact CBSA CBSA Temporary Importations with the details of the existing Carnet (Carnet no, expiry date, port of importation, reason for extension) and request approval for extension before the original Carnet expires. Once you have obtained approval, contact your issuing Chamber in the UK and request a Replacement Carnet.

Mexico - Replacement can be issued only if, at the time of requesting extension, the Carnet has less than six months of validity remaining. Once the Replacement has been issued in the UK and validated by the NCU, Holder will need to register the Replacement Carnet with Mexican Customs Authority CANACO WEBPAGE.

New Zealand - The Holder must contact the UK Chamber that issued the original Carnet and provide the following details:

  • ATA Carnet number
  • Reason for extension and estimated date of departure
  • Date of validity
  • Name of the Customs office where the goods were imported

The UK issuing Chamber will then lodge a request for approval of the extension with the New Zealand NGO.

Norway - Holders should email Oslo Chamber of Commerce a request for extension of temporary admission. The data to be communicated is as follows:

  • ATA Carnet number
  • The name of the Holder
  • Date of validity
  • Name of the Customs office where the goods were imported

Once the permission for Replacement has been received, the Holder should contact their issuing Chamber and request a Replacement Carnet.

South Africa - Contact SACCI ( or and request approval for Replacement to be issued before the original Carnet expires. Once you have obtained approval, contact your issuing Chamber in the UK and request a Replacement Carnet.

United States of America - USA does not accept Replacement Carnets. Carnet Holder must contact US customs before the Carnet expires and divert the goods to TIB (Temporary Importation Bond). The Re-exportation Counterfoil on the Carnet must be endorsed by US Customs to confirm the liability has been transferred to the TIB. Returned Goods Relief will need to be claimed on return to the UK.  

Following countries DO NOT allow Replacement Carnets: India, Japan, Morocco and Taiwan do not allow replacement Carnets.

Advice for foreign Carnet Holders currently in the UK on a foreign Carnet wishing to extend their stay in the UK.

  1. Contact the UK Customs and request permission to obtain a Replacement Carnet. The email must include the reason for extension and details of the existing Carnet: Carnet number, validity date, date of entry into UK and port of entry into UK
  2. If the UK Customs approve the request (usually by email), the Holder should contact the Chamber that issued the original Carnet and request a Replacement. This must be done before the original Carnet expires
  3. The Replacement Carnet will need to be validated by the Customs of the country of issue before being sent to the UK
  4. Both the Replacement and the existing Carnet must be sent to the National Carnet Unit to be endorsed:

HM Revenue and Customs
National Carnet Unit
Business Tax & Customs, 5th Floor
Three New Bailey
New Bailey Street
Salford M3 5FS

26. I lost my Carnet, what do I do (Substitute Carnets)?

If the goods are still abroad, you should contact your Issuing Chamber and apply for a substitute Carnet. Issuing and security fees will apply. 

The Substitute Carnet must be validated by the National Carnet Unit before being used abroad.

27. What happens if my goods are lost or stolen whilst abroad?

If goods covered by a Carnet are lost or stolen, the matter should be immediately reported to the Customs Authorities in the country where it occurred, together with a police report for insurance purposes as Customs charges will (in most cases) apply due to non re-exportation of the goods.

28. What happens if my goods are damaged whilst abroad?

If the goods are repairable - you should still bring them back to the UK (ensuring that re-exportation from the country of visit and re-importation back into the UK are endorsed). 

If the goods are beyond repair - some Customs Authorities may allow goods to be destroyed under their control. This process must be reflected on the Re-exportation Counterfoil and the Voucher must be retained by the host Customs. It should be noted that Customs charges may still apply.

29. What do I do with the Carnet after I have finished using it?

The Carnet must be returned to the office of issue (either Hounslow or London) intact (details are on the reverse of the Carnet), at the latest on its expiry date.

Please ensure that photocopies of any Customs endorsed pages are kept on your files in case the Carnet gets lost en route to the issuing office. We strongly recommend returning the Carnet by recorded delivery or in person to ensure it’s received by London Chamber.

30. What do I do if my Carnet is not stamped back into the UK when the goods return from abroad?

You must contact the National Carnet Unit and request a Certificate of Location. Their contact details are as follows:

+44(0)30 0322 7064

If your goods came back via seaport or Roro port, contact the Border Force at that customs office and ask if they would be prepared to endorse the Carnet retrospectively (you will have to bring the Carnet goods with you for inspection if your request is granted by the Border Force). Retrospective Carnet endorsement is usually not possible at airports as Border Force can usually only be reached within the arrivals hall. 

Carnet must be returned to the office of issue once endorsed (preferrably via special post or in person to ensure it doesn't get lost en route to the Chamber). Keep scanned copies of any Counterfoils endorsed by Customs on your file. 

31. What are the requirements for GVMS (non-inventory linked) Ports?
  • Hauliers moving goods through a port in the UK that uses the Goods Vehicle Movement Service will need to obtain a GVM number to get the goods through customs.

Note - GVM is required for movements between NI and GB for any vehicles over 7.5t (whether empty or not).

Use code: CPC 10 00 041 for exports and CPC 00 080 20 for re-imports.

  • Goods leaving or entering the UK via road through a GVMS (non-inventory linked) port will also need to obtain a GMR unique reference number.

To obtain a GMR number traders can apply directly at the Government Gateway, obtain it through their Freight Forwarder or appoint the LCCI to raise the GMR on their behalf (GMR Registration Form)

32. What are the requirements for inventory linked port/airports?

If the goods are freighted and are bound for an “inventory linked” port or airport they may need to be included on an Import and export: customs clearance request (C21) form.

Use code: CPC 10 00 041 for exports and CPC 00 080 20 for re-imports.If you need a Customs Agent to help you issuing your Customs Declarations, please contact us at, we can help you.

33. I'm traveling to Republic of Ireland with an ATA Carnet, what do I need?

Hauliers shipping the goods to Ireland will need to apply for PBN online.

Carnet Holders driving to Ireland in a company vehicle will have to obtain a Pre-boarding notification number (PBN) inbound and outbound by emailing with the following details: scan of the ATA Carnet Front Cover and General list and details of sailing (Date, time, ferry, port of exit and entry). You will get the PBN no by email. 

34. More information on LCCI Customs Declaration Service

LCCI can help you with lodging customs entries / declarations to support your permanent exports or imports into UK or help with special procedures. Please click for further information.

35. How much does an ATA Carnet cost

An ATA Carnet requires two different payments:

1- Issuing Fee - This is the cost of the Issuance of the physical ATA Carnet document:

Member: £206.00 + VAT
Non-Member: £342.00 + VAT

(Express Service has an extra cost of £206.00 + VAT on top of the issuing fee)

2- Security Fee - This is the security bond all Carnets have to be covered with to ensure the goods are returned to the UK. The Security Fee is calculated considering three main factors: The country(ies) to visit, the duration of the trip, and the type of goods exported.

The Carnet security can be covered by:

  • Carnet Security Scheme - CSS (Travelling for 2, 6 or 12 months) (The date you leave the country is the date you should request that your security starts from)
  • Banker's draft/Deposit
  • Bank's Guarantee

Obtain a CSS quote.

36. How long does it take to issue a carnet?

This depends on the complexity of the application and the urgency of the request.

We offer two types of service:

Standard Service - The application is reviewed by our team within 24 hours of submission*
Express Service - The application is reviewed by our team within 2 hours of submission*

*Please take the following in consideration:

- Applications are processed in a first come first served basis
- Our working hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
- Please consider the postage or collection time on top of the processing time (Carnets are hard documents that need to be presented to customs physically, they cannot be scanned over or emailed.)
- Until payment is received for the Carnet, the Carnet will not be posted or available for collection.
- All applications are individually checked and can be rejected if amendments are required, this can delay the service and readiness of the document. Please see Guidance notes for how to complete your Carnet.

37. Do I need a carnet for Europe after Brexit?

This depends on the nature of your goods, the purpose of your trip and the country you are visiting. If you are travelling to a Carnet scheme country on a commercial capacity (with professional equipment, commercial samples or to a trade fair/exhibition) with goods that will be returning to the country they were originally exported from then you will more likely require a Carnet.

Note Carnets are not mandatory but advisable; traders have the option to travel without Carnets if they wish to do so but this is not recommended as other Customs Procedures will then take place, such as having to lodge Export and Import Customs Declarations on each country the goods enter or depart from and pay the corresponding duties and taxes every time. Customs Authorities can refuse entry to the country to goods not accompanied by the required documentation and large fines can be imposed over their value.

If you are unsure whether if you will need a Carnet to temporary export/import your goods, please contact us to evaluate your case.

38. How long is carnet valid for?

An ATA Carnet is valid for 12 months from the issuing date, however, it can only be used for the period of time the security coverage allows, this can be 2, 6 or 12 months.

It is always important to confirm with receiving Customs the timeframe the goods will be allowed to stay in the country as Customs can still impose a time allowance that can be sometimes shorter than the Carnet or security's validity. Failing to re-export the goods within such timeframe can lead to potential punitive actions by local Customs Authorities. Please take the time to check this with Foreign Customs on entry.

39. What is a carnet voucher?

An ATA Carnet consists of three parts: the Front cover, the counterfoils and the vouchers.

Please read this guide for more details.

40. What are the advantages of using the ATA Carnet?

A Carnet will facilitate importing goods to overseas countries on a temporary basis without having to pay duties and taxes to the local Customs Authorities on the condition that the goods are re-exported to their country of origin within the time allowance local authorities impose over the Carnet.

41. How do I get a Goods Movement Reference (GMR)?

The Goods Movement Reference (GMR) is a UK Government IT platform for moving goods into or out of Northern Ireland and Great Britain by road through a GVMS port (non-inventory linked ports).

GMRs allow to pre-lodge all existing customs declarations, ATA Carnets and any relevant customs docs references that relate to a particular shipment through a unique identifier that links all of them together.

To get a GMR, traders need to register in UK GMR gateway, for which they will need to have a UK EORI number and declare all related information to their shipment. Alternatively, companies can request the LCCI to obtain a GMR on their behalf.

42. Do I have to declare the cases in which my goods are transported/packed?

No, declaring how your goods are packed is neither required nor necessary for a Carnet.

43. Can I request a scanned copy of an ATA Carnet?

No, we are unable to provide hard photocopies or scanned copies of ATA Carnets. It is the holder’s responsibility to make photocopies of their ATA Carnets for record keeping.

44. Who is the National Guaranteeing Organisation for ATA Carnets?

UKNATACO, who sits under LCCI, is the National Guaranteeing Organisation for ATA Carnets. You can find out more by going to their website.

If we have not answered your question, please contact the Trade Documentation team here.