Opera company sings Chamber International’s praises


A world-renowned opera company is singing the praises of Chamber International after its simplified online documentation system saved it more than £17,000 in duty fees.

Award-winning Opera North, based in Leeds, is a regular user of the Chamber International ATA Carnet system, and sending its production of Katya Kabanova to Boston in the US was no exception.

ATA Carnets, which translates to "book of temporary admission tickets", can be used for temporary exports – where goods are not to be sold - to fast-track customs in more than 80 countries belonging to the Carnet scheme without the need to pay duty and/or local tax on their arrival.

And in Opera North’s case, two were issued: one for the set and a second for the costumes and props which would enable the performances to go ahead, saving around £17,600 on the costs if a Carnet had not been used.

Opera North technical and operations director, Ric Green (pictured right with Alison Holmes, trade procedures manager, Chamber International), says: ”We do co-productions or rentals with opera companies in Europe, Australasia and the USA. Sometimes they are overseas for quite short period but they can stay for two years.

“We are currently sending Katya to Boston, our production of Norma is in Chemnitz and then goes to Bordeaux, while our production of Pinocchio went to Chemnitz and Moscow and is now in Bonn.  

”We always check if ATA Carnets are required and whether we are visiting a participating country. Productions which go overseas vary in value but usually fall between  £250,000 and £500,000. 

Chamber International issues hundreds ATA Carnets annually for businesses throughout the UK wanting to take items abroad as commercial samples, for presentations, display at exhibitions or trade fairs, and for professional equipment used by people working abroad such as theatre companies and touring rock bands.

Once issued, Carnets can be used for multiple international trips and are valid for a year. Countries, and territories, which accept them are in Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Oceania.

Alison Holmes, says: "The new digital application revolutionises the application process at a time when more countries are a joining the international Carnet scheme and more businesses are looking to trade overseas.

“Our online system makes the whole process far easier as companies applying for ATA Carnets can download the document quickly and, crucially, this method automatically formats the document as it is completed for submission to us for verification and authorising. 


Click here for more information about the service or contact Alison Holmes on 0845 034 7200 or via email for advice.