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Carnets in International Shipping

Carnet had been initially created for international shipping to allow salespersons to travel from country to country without paying duties in every country.
It is long size and multi-pages document. When you go through countries at the borders customs tear off pages.
Example international shipping traveling under a carnet:
Leaving the US - U.S. Customs sings @ Export;
Coming to U.K. - U.K. Customs signs @ Import;
Leaving U.K. - U.K. Customs signs @ Export;
Coming to France - French Customs signs @ Import;

Carnets in international shipping issued by NOT a governments organization. It is PRIVET organization International Camber of Commerce, which is refers to Issuing Authority.

Carnet is THE ENTRY IN THE BOND ITSELF. It is a combination "Customs Entry in Bond", which is issued by foreign or U.S. association for importation in international shipping. It allows for traveling in bond.

  1. International shipping Tools of trade;
  2. International shipping Samples and;
  3. International shipping Merchandise that just transiting trough countries.

TYPES OF CARNETS in international shipping:

1. ATA Carnet - for international shipping samples (1), tools of trade & professional equipment (2) and Advertising Materials including motion pictures (3). Admission Temporary or Temporary Admission.

Important feature: FOR United States it is VALID WITHIN ONE YEAR ONLY. NO EXTENSIONS. After the year you must RE-EXPORT goods (1) or DESTROY them (2). No exceptions.
Actually ATA may be issued for a period longer than one year, BUT IT WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED BY U.S. CUSTOMS after one year from the date of issue.


2. TIR Carnet - Transit carnet. TIR is for international shipping (moving) goods. Transport International Router.
Initially had been created for a French company, which exported goods to Portugal passing by Spain.

Important features:

  1. NO TIME LIMIT. It may be issued for international shipping periods longer than one year and:
  2. Consumption entry is allowed at the last destination.


3. TECHRO/AIT Carnet - applies only to TAIWAN only. The same with ATA, but for TAIWAN only.


General rules for Carnets in international shipping:

  1. No prohibited international shipping merchandize are allowed.
  2. No international shipping importations BY MAIL will be accepted under Carnet;
  3. The same ten OUT as IN;
  4. Liquidated damages go against Guaranteeing Association, but NOT the Issued Association (Issued Authority);
  5. NO CHANGES ALLOWED TO A CARNET after it is done (issued).
    If you need changes you must obtain a whole new Carnet.
    Example: You decided change routing from Italy to France via Germany, THEN YOU MUST OBTAIN WHOLE NEW CARNET.

Prices for international shipping under Carnets are going down and it becomes more and more popular.

Example for U.S. Carnet: A painting is internationally shipping to France for appraisal and goes back to the USA. Under Carnet there are no duties to pay, no problems either with U.S. or French customs etc.

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