Our EFM Carnet team are ready to help you raise your ATA Carnets for the EU

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Since 1st January 2021, with the UK’s departure from the EU, the latest advice is that ATA Carnets can and should be used for goods under temporary export from UK to the EU and for goods under temporary import from the EU into the UK.

It is important to seek professional advice in advance of any international freight moves (now including the EU). Advice is regularly reviewed and updated, so EFM can provide the correct information and assist you with making informed decisions and ensuring you don’t end up incurring unexpected additional costs compared to your budget. Our friendly team are here & available to you 24/7. We can raise ATA Carnets in-house on your behalf, even at short notice!

Please contact us at info@efm.global or +44 (0) 1784 223960

What is an ATA Carnet?

You may have no experience of using an ATA Carnet, if you have been trading with and travelling around the EU only until now, but you can rest assured that this tried and tested system has been in place for a long time. To share some background for those less familiar, the ATA Carnet (often referred to as a “passport for goods”) is an international customs document, that permits duty and tax-free temporary import of goods into a number of countries world-wide, usually for a period of up to 12 months. It has been in use since the 1960s and is valid in over 80 countries currently. So, customs officers across all the EU member states, and the UK are already extremely familiar with the process and well versed in its practical use.

An ATA Carnet document can be used to cover:

  • Trade Fair and Exhibition goods
  • Professional Equipment
  • Commercial samples
  • Educational and cultural items

For the last few decades, we have been fortunate to have borderless travel for goods and people across the EU, with the UK being a member EU state. With this no longer the case, it has caused much confusion, trepidation and often additional expenses.

EU Carnet use

It is important to note that ATA Carnets raised in 2020 are no longer able to be used from 1st January 2021 for UK goods transiting in the EU or vice versa.

Issuers have confirmed that any ATA Carnets raised in UK can be bonded for the entire EU area, which will be considered a single zone. The situation is the same for EU Carnets for goods being sent to UK under temporary import. The bond period remains at either 2 months, 6 months or 12 months. Once your ATA Carnet has been raised by us, and stamped at the point of arrival, your goods can travel freely within the EU with open borders, before they depart back to UK again and will require a final stamp at the time of re-export from the EU and re-entry into UK. This applies in either direction. Your goods can enter and exit from the EU through different ports / airports, all covered by the same ATA Carnet. You can also re-use your ATA Carnet, for subsequent trips within the Carnet validity period, as long as you make sure you have the correct quantity of counterfoils before you depart for your trip to the EU.

What cannot be covered by an ATA Carnet?

Most items can travel under an ATA Carnet. Typically however, items that cannot travel under an ATA Carnet include consumables, perishable goods, gifts and single use items that will be disposed of and will not return to the country where the ATA Carnet would be raised. For these items, we can also assist wtih customs declarations, compiling paperwork and navigating the customs requirements of the relevant country that your goods wil be travelling to.

What can EFM do to help you?

Our team have been raising ATA Carnets for over 20 years for our customers. EFM have been liaising with the DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport in UK) and Customs Authorities in UK and the EU, since the Brexit referendum results in UK. Our customer base includes sports teams, bands, touring theatre, events, exhibitions, the automotive and aerospace industry, to name but a few. We can firstly provide you with professional advice (free of charge) about your unique individual situation, to assess if an ATA Carnet is the best solution to your needs. If you need a Carnet, then we can help with providing templates, and assisting in compiling your lists, then we will raise the ATA Carnet and bond it for you. We can then manage the customs entries – another new requirement for goods travelling to / from the EU, and make sure that the Carnet is stamped and handled correctly – either by your own team or by our brokers in UK and EU.

Customs Clearance at the UK and EU Borders

We can handle your border customs clearances worldwide, which includes UK and any of the EU member states. We are working with our customers to help smooth the process of moving goods and equipment around the EU currently. There are a number of considerations, if you can’t or don’t want to go down the ATA Carnet route, which we are happy top discuss with you and assist with, on a case-by-case basis.

For all other methods of clearance an EORI number will be required at either end of the transaction – for the UK exporter and the EU importer, and vice versa. In spite of misleading headlines, many people are finding that duties and taxes can be applicable on shipments heading one way UK – EU or EU – UK, and it is important to be aware and prepared in advance. The level of duties will depend on the actual country of origin (rule of origin) and people risk being caught with unexpected duties and taxes in the EU now.

We can steer you through the EORI application process, if you don't already have one.


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