What is a Carnet?

What is a Carnet?

A Carnet (pronounced kar-nay), also called an ATA carnet, is an international customs document that permits temporary freight, tax-free and duty-free export and import entries. Essentially, the it acts as a passport and travels with freight that will be in a country temporarily. It is important to remember that carnets are used for shipments that will not be altered or modified and must return in the same condition it arrived.

When should I use one?

A trade show booth going to an international show is a great example of when a carnet is beneficial.  It will cover bond fees, and usually makes the customs clearance process quite easy through Foreign and US customs. Other examples a carnet may be useful is with industrial equipment being used for a project, audio or video production gear, testing equipment, or maybe something that is being sent to another country for repair.

Will it work in every country?

Not every country accepts the ATA carnet, so you or your forwarder will want to check with their customs department to verify if it can be used in your destination country. As of today, over 100 countries do accept them.

How to get a Carnet:

Your freight forwarder should be able to help you order a carnet, and of course if you need one give us a call and we are happy to help. Typically, a it can be issued and delivered within 1 day if the application is complete and approved by 4pm CST. Same day service is available for an additional charge. Your cost will depend on the value of what you are shipping. Once you get a carnet, it is valid for one year from the date of its issuance. Merchandise you list can be exported from and imported into any of the participating countries and territories as many times as needed during the one-year life of the carnet.

If you need help with getting a carnet or any international shipping, call Ark or email us at intl.quotes@arktrans.com