Customs Clearance Procedure – ATA Carnet Scheme Explained

An ATA Carnet is an international customs documentation which is often referred as a ‘passport for goods’, used for swift customs clearance of goods. With an ATA Carnet document this allows specific goods to enter and leave the country duty and tax free at each border customs office. This is a temporary export of goods for up to one year and is a customs clearance procedure which means a full export declaration does not need to be completed.

An ATA carnet cannot be used for any goods there are only certain kinds of goods which qualify for the ATA carnet, please see below some of the examples which are able to export using this international customs clearance document.

  • Goods for Exhibitions (Works or art, collectors’ items and antiques)
  • Commercial samples (Racing vehicles)
  • Professional or engineer’s tools and equipment
  • Live Animals for any training/ dressage competitions
  • Goods for humanitarian purposes

The application process for an ATA Carnet, they are issued and authorised by the London Chamber of commerce (LCCI) which is an independent networking and business support organisation. You can apply online using (  you can as well purchase the document at the London chamber of commerce or its offices. Consisting of a ATA Carnet are a cover, vouchers and grouped counterfoils, You must ensure you request the right number of vouchers when applying for the carnet, vouchers are the control document of customs and are also removed by customs, these vouchers are stamped at different customs clearance offices upon entry into each country you are entering. These are to move goods between many countries before returning to the origin country and for multiple trips using the same document.

Once you have applied and the ATA Carnet has been issued this will be sent via mail or you can even collect from the issuing office you have applied at, the following chambers are authorised to issue the document are:

  • London
  • Northern Ireland
  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Norwich
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • And many more locations

Once issued you cannot amend its period of validity, you will need a replacement carnet if you need to extend.


If any of your goods are lost or stolen during the customs clearance process you will need to notify the customs in the country where the goods have been lost or stolen although each country may treat lost or stolen goods differently, some may even request for you to pay duty as is they were permanently imported. You would need to notify the police authorities of the theft or loss of these items.

If an ATA Carnet is lost or stolen you will need to reach out to the chamber of commerce who issued you the carnet to see if they are able to issue you a substitute carnet, as well as if the goods were stolen or lost you will need to contact the local authorities in the country.

Trans Global Logistics Uk Limited , international Shipping & Logistics company with 30 years of experience, will be able to offers several services for your Vehicle Transport / Customs Clearance/ Import and UK Vehicle Registration to confidently support your Vehicle Customs Clerance in the UK.

Contact us at Trans Global Logistics Uk Limited – – phone 07833 410 281

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