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Understanding ATA Carnets

Marie-Claude Halimanis, Senior Carnet Advisor with Australian Business Consulting and Solutions has been processing ATA Carnets for 19 years. She explains how ATA Carnets save business money and time.

"ATA Carnets allow for the temporary admission of goods. I process ATA Carnets for goods for everything from trade shows to film shoots," she says.

"The most common products are computers, filming equipment, jewellery and clothing for fashion shoots and designers going to fashion shows."

"When Lord of the Rings was being filmed in New Zealand a lot of equipment was hired from Australia that needed to be covered by an ATA Carnet. Popular music band INXS also required an ATA Carnet for their equipment when they toured the world."

"Usually when you import something you will have to pay duty at customs. If you go to five or six countries you need to pay customs duty five or six times. It can be very expensive and getting that money back can take a long time."

"If you have an ATA Carnet you only have to pay once in Australia because the ATA Carnet provides proof that the goods are not being imported, just admitted temporarily."

By eliminating the need to pay individual value added taxes, sales taxes and customs duties in over 65 countries, ATA Carnets allow businesses to more easily manage the costs associated with travelling as only one payment in local currency is required. The document also reduces the time involved in the customs process.

ATA Carnets can be completed well ahead of travelling time, goods do not need to be registered with customs at the time of departure, and the single document, completed in English once only, is satisfactory for all customs formalities, eliminating the need for multiple customs documents at individual ports.

"You avoid a lot of paper work by using an ATA Carnet." says Halimanis.

"And it is pretty easy to get an ATA Carnet. All you have to do is fill in an application form and provide a list of the goods. And you only need one ATA Carnet to cover all the goods that will be leaving and coming back together."

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Robert McCallum
Export Documentation Coordinator
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