What is an ATA Carnet?

A Carnet (pronounced “kar-nay”), otherwise known as an ATA Carnet (“ATA” is an acronym combining the French/English terms “Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission”) is an international customs document that provides duty and tax free customs clearance for temporary imports into foreign countries. ATA Carnets are valid on multiple trips for up to one year.


ATA Carnets eliminate the need to post a financial guarantee such as a Temporary Import Bond. Recognized in over 100 destinations, ATA Carnets can be used for virtually all types of goods, whether hand-carried or cargo-shipped.


A broad range of merchandise that might be imported into a country upto one year, and then returned to it the original country without alteration can be covered by ATA Carnets. If you need to temporarily bring product samples into another country for a trade show, for example, you can use an ATA Carnet to import them without paying import duties. Items such as trade show booth equipment, personal computers, satellites, industrial machinery, diagnostic equipment, jewelry, photographic and video equipment, repair tools, live animals, rare gems, vehicles, etc. are all frequently temporarily imported and can benefit from ATA Carnets. To see what items are NOT covered by ATA Carnets, however, see the FAQ “What can go on an ATA Carnet”.

How Do I Get an ATA Carnet?

It’s easy! First, register for a DB Schenker eCarnet account here. Once your registration is complete, you will receive your login information. Then you can use our system to apply for ATA Carnets as you need them.


To start an ATA Carnet application, you’ll need to know the full legal name of the holder (the company that will be named on the ATA Carnet), the Tax ID or FEIN number, the physical address (ATA Carnets cannot show a P.O. Box) and holder contact information.

What are the Benefits of an ATA Carnet?

ATA Carnets provide duty and tax free customs clearance for temporary imports into foreign countries. ATA Carnets are valid on multiple trips for up to one year and users can travel to as many ATA Carnet member countries as necessary during that period.


Additionally, partial and split shipments can be made. Since you don’t have to take all of the merchandise listed on your General List on each trip, one ATA Carnet can cover the needs of several trips for different purposes.


Note: an ATA Carnet does NOT take the place of other Government agency requirements, licenses and permits. U.S. and foreign Government regulations specific to each respective country must be followed for both the export and import.

What Can (and Cannot) Go on an ATA Carnet?

ATA Carnets cover virtually all types of merchandise for commercial use, whether it’s ordinary goods used in the course of business or whether it’s something unique or exotic, such as a rare piece of art or live animals. Merchandise listed on an ATA Carnet typically fits into one or more of the three categories listed below.


Commercial Samples include any and all items which are temporarily imported for the purpose of demonstration or for the solicitation of orders. Examples might include a heart monitoring system, jewelry, fashion garments, pipes and fittings or goods to be exhibited at a foreign trade show or conference.


Professional Equipment is typically considered “tools of the trade” and include equipment or goods needed to work while in a foreign country. Examples include equipment for the press or for television; scientific, mining, engineering, electrical, surgical, entertainment and sporting equipment, such as racecars and boats; and exhibition booths used to display merchandise at trade shows.


Exhibitions, Fairs, and similar cultural events include trade, industrial, agricultural or crafts exhibitions, as well as fairs, world events, exhibitions for a charitable purpose or to promote learning, crafts, scientific or cultural activity, or religious knowledge or worship.


Exclusions: The ATA Carnet covers temporary exports only; it cannot be used for goods that will be consumed in another country such as handouts or pamphlets, food items, plants or other perishables. Personal cars with the intent to be driven on public roads cannot go on an ATA Carnet. ATA Carnets are good for a maximum of one year, meaning the items must be returned to the country of origin within that time period. Concerning items sent back for repairs (i.e. warranty repairs), while the value of the item temporarily imported might be tax-exempt, the value of the repair might be taxable, therefore such items would not qualify for an ATA Carnet. Please contact us for more information.

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Where are ATA Carnets Accepted?

Over 100 countries and their territories currently accept ATA Carnets. Additional information about traveling in these countries, categories of goods accepted, possible restrictions, Guaranteeing Associations and more can be found in our ATA Carnet Country Guide.


Traveling in the European Union


With the recent expansion of the European Union, traveling in Europe is even easier with an ATA Carnet. Your goods must clear customs only once when they enter the EU and once when they depart; your ATA Carnet does not need to be presented when traveling between EU countries. Your DB Schenker eCarnet expert will be able to advise you on how best to select countries to keep your ATA Carnet manageable and control costs.


Using a Carnet in Taiwan


Taiwan, through a bilateral agreement with the United States, accepts a TECRO/AIT Carnet, which can also be obtained through DB Schenker eCarnet application. If you will be traveling to Taiwan and other countries, you will need to obtain both an ATA Carnet and a TECRO/AIT Carnet for the same goods.

What Do the Different ATA Carnet Colors Mean?

Your ATA Carnet document consists of multiple certificates and are specified by color. The front green cover of the official document shows holder and country information (note: U.S. ATA Carnets have a protective outer folder). The yellow certificates of the document are considered the control documents and remain with the Carnet to be removed by customs. They are used for the registration of goods that will return to the USA. Blue and White Certificates are used by foreign customs. A detailed set of instructions can be found on the inside of the ATA Carnet cover.

How Much Does an ATA Carnet/Carnet Bond Cost?

Below is a table outlining the costs for Carnets and Carnet Bonds. If you would like more information on DB Schenker ATA Carnet Processing Service or it’s online Carnet portal, please click here.

Type Fee Notes

Base Fees According to General List Value:

Includes 1st side of General List Continuation
Sheet and 4 Counterfoil/Voucher sets of your choice
(choose from US, Foreign, and/or Transit)

$0 - $9,999
$ 235
$10,000 - $49,000
$ 280
$50,000 - $149,999
$ 340
$150,000 - $399,999
$ 385
$400,000 - $999,999
$ 435
$1,000,000 +
$ 475
Additional General List Continuation Sheets
$ 10

Per side

Additional Sets of Counterfoils/Vouchers
$ 20

Per set

Shipping & Handling

Handling Only Fee
$ 10

Use your Courier or arrange for pick-up

2 day delivery Shipping & Handling
$ 20
Rush Application Processing
$ 75

Received before 4 pm Central

Rush Application Processing
$ 100

Received 4-5 pm Central

Same Day Pick Up Application Processing
$ 150

Received before 4 pm Central

Same Day Pick Up Application Processing
$ 200

Received 4-5 pm Central

Additional Services

Lost Document (Carnet) Coverage
$ 35


General List (GL) Importation
$ 50 and up
General List (GL) Change after Issuance
$ 50

Prior to validation by CBP

Customs Authorization Letter Preparation
$ 25
Duplicate ATA Carnet Processing
$ 235 to $ 475 + S&H

Based on Basic Fee. If Lost Document Coverage is purchased, cost is $0 + S&H

Replacement Carnet Activation Fee
$ 175

Activation at US CBP

Replacement Carnet Application Fee
$ 275
Replacement Carnet Service Fee
$ 125

Applicable if Replacement Carnet is cancelled

Replacement Shipped to a US Address
$ 20
Replacement Shipped to an International Address
$ 40+
Counterfoil/Voucher Reorders
$ 75

Per order / Reorder

Counterfoil/Voucher Reorders
$ 20

Additional Sets, Each

DB Schenker Carnet Processing Service Fee
$ 295

ATA Carnet Bond Rates (Required)

Bond Premium
$ 50 minimum
Bond Premium Assessed at

$10 per $1,000

General List without Vehicle(s)
40% of Carnet Value
General List with Vehicle(s) for Corporations
100% of Carnet Value
General List with Vehicle(s) for Individuals
150% of Carnet Value
ATA Carnet travel to India
55% of Carnet Value
ATA Carnet travel to Brazil
60% of Carnet Value

ATA Cargo Marine Insurance Rates (Optional)

Cargo Insurance Premium
$ 100 minimum

Number of Planned Visits or Transits Abroad:

Total Value of Goods:

1 – 3
4 – 7
8 – 11
12 – 15

Example of Bond Premium Calculation:

You have a General List value of $500,000 for a shipment of general cargo (no vehicles) traveling to Germany. Utilizing the above chart, you calculate the Carnet Value, then the Bond Premium:


The Carnet Value is 40% of the General List value: $500,000 x 0.40 = $200,000.


The Bond Premium is 1% of the Carnet Value (or $10 per $1,000): $200,000 x 0.01 = $2,000 (or $200,000/1,000 x $10 = $2,000)

Your Bond Premium would be $2,000


Have questions? Click below to contact us anytime. Click here to send us an email. Or call us and speak directly with one of our experts (Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET). 

Schenker, Inc.
Trade Advisory & Risk Solutions
41 Pinelawn Road, Suite 110
Melville, NY 11747
Phone +1 (844) 724-8723 (in USA)
Phone +1 (516) 690-2171 (outside USA)