ATA Carnet Completion Guide

What is a Carnet?

A Carnet is the simplest method of exporting goods on a temporary basis.  Carnets are like passports for goods replacing normal Customs documentation enabling fast trouble free importation into countries belonging to the scheme (see the back cover of your Carnet for a full list of participating countries) without having to pay duty/tax.

When can I use a Carnet?

Carnets can be used for the following categories of goods being shipped as freight, or accompanied luggage but not for exports by post.

  • Commercial Samples 
  • Goods for International Exhibition 
  • Professional Equipment  

Can I appoint somebody to present the Carnet to Customs on my behalf?

A Carnet can be issued in the name of an individual or company and can be used by any person providing the user carries a letter from the holder authorising such use.  This would apply when cargo handling agents, haulers, freight forwarders etc. are appointed to act on your behalf.

The following draft authorisation letter is recommended (to be typed on company headed paper):

I/We (name of Carnet holder) of (company name) hereby appoint (name of representative) to be my/our agent for the purpose of dealing with and signing ATA Carnet GB/LE issued by Chamber Management Services, under the appropriate International Convention, and guaranteed by the London Chamber of Commerce, and deliver to Customs any documents in this connection.


Do I need to arrange a Security Bond for my Carnet?

Chamber International/Chamber Management Services is responsible, through an international chain of guaranteeing associations, for paying any charges that become due on goods covered by Carnets we have issued.  Security is therefore required to accompany your application for a Carnet and is fully refundable as long as the Carnet conditions of use have not been broken.

The security can only be accepted in one of the following forms:

(1) Bank Draft/Cash as a deposit of security

(2) Immediate Cover for Security fee using the non-refundable “in-house” Carnet Indemnity Scheme

(3) or a Guarantee from a Bank or insurance company (see the ATA Carnet Application Form & Undertaking for detailed requirements)

How to complete your Carnet (remember we offer a completion service)

The Carnet consists of a booklet comprising of:

  • green front cover (1)
  • yellow exportation voucher (exp)
  • white importation voucher (imp)
  • white re-exportation voucher (reexp)
  • yellow re-importation voucher (re-imp)
  • yellow exportation/re-importation (2)
  • white importation/reexportation (3)

Depending on your route blue transit vouchers (tra) and blue transit counterfoils (4) will be inserted when the Carnet is issued by Chamber International, these pages are used as Customs entry forms.

When preparing your list of goods, items of the same description can be grouped together but only if they are of the same value, weight and country of origin.  To finalise the list, the totals of columns 3 and 5 must be entered at the end of the list in figures and in words.  If the list comprises several pages the number of continuation sheets used should be given in figures and in writing on the reverse of the front cover.

Before completing your Carnet read the notes on the inside back cover (page 5) and ensure that the following information is TYPED on all forms, (hand-written applications will not be accepted for processing.):

FRONT boxes A, B and C of each voucher (ONLY).

BACK List the goods to be exported on the back of the green front cover sheet and all the vouchers supplied.  If there is insufficient space to list all the goods then leave the back of the forms blank and prepare a plain paper continuation sheet or separate list to the same format as the Carnet, and photocopy a sufficient number of lists to attach to each voucher.

Using the Carnet

The Carnet user is advised to ensure that the goods can be easily crosschecked against the list of goods to assist their clearance through Customs.  When presenting the Carnet to Customs, both in the United Kingdom and abroad, make sure that the appropriate counterfoil is endorsed and the voucher detached by Customs at each frontier crossing (This does not apply to movements within the EU).

Each time goods are temporarily imported into another country; Customs may set the “final date for re-exportation” of the goods and insert the date in box 2 of the Importation counterfoil.  If the user of the Carnet anticipates a problem in reexporting the goods by the due date, he should immediately approach Customs in that country to seek advice.  Users experiencing difficulties at frontier points can also contact the Chamber International Carnet team on 00 44 1274 772 777 for assistance.

Click here to download completion instructions.


Before sending your Carnet to Chamber International for processing check the following:

  • What level of service do I require? Priority * (by arrangement and subject to an additional fee) or standard (24 hours)
  • Is the application form completed and signed?
  • Has the list of goods been completed correctly on the reverse of all the forms?
  • Have box’s A, B and C on the front of forms been completed?
  • Have you completed all vouchers sent to you?
  • Has the total value in words and figures been typed at the end of the list?
  • Is the security amount correct and have you presented it in the right way?
  • Have all forms been typed (hand-written forms are not acceptable)?
  • Have you enclosed the correct issue fee?
  • Have you enclosed a SAE if you want the Carnet returned to you by post? 

Who do I contact for further help?

Telephone advice is available from the Chamber International Carnet team at any stage of the application procedure or, if you are accompanying your goods, at any stage of your journey.

For further details telephone one of our specialists on +44 (0)7827 318692 or via email.

Chamber International - ATA Carnet

   Telephone 0845 034 7200 or email