how to simplify the movement of goods across the customs border

More and more popular is the so-called. “international passport of goods” – a document that is designed to facilitate the temporary import and export of goods abroad.

When visiting exhibitions, competitions, tours or foreign partners, entrepreneurs often take product samples with them to show them. Unfortunately, there were situations when it turned out that the goods were not allowed to cross the border, because they did not have the necessary customs document – the ATA Carnet, which is also called the international passport of the goods.

ATA Carnet is an international temporary entry and exit document. It can be used in cases where you need to take the goods with you or send them to third countries. To date, 78 countries already accept ATA Carnets. Estonian companies use the trade passport mainly for travel to the UK, Norway, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

What are the benefits?

If it turns out at the border that the goods to be transferred do not have customs documentation, then various misunderstandings can arise when filling out the necessary documents – often this is a language barrier, not to mention unnecessary expenditure of time and money.

In the case of the ATA Carnet, document requirements are generalized for different countries, which reduces language problems and misunderstandings, as well as high additional costs when filling out customs documents and fulfilling border crossing requirements in an unfamiliar language. The advantage of using a product passport is that the owner of the ATA Carnet does not need to use the services of customs agents when working with customs, pay an agency fee or an additional guarantee when importing goods.

Who can use?

The ATA carnet can be used by both individuals and legal entities, although entrepreneurs need it to a greater extent. Individuals should consider applying for an ATA Carnet, for example if they plan to visit a dog or cat show in another country with their pet.

The ATA Carnet has been used for over 50 years, the first document was issued in Estonia in 1996. The Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the only institution that issues ATA Carnets.

Examples of using the ATA Carnet

• The Metsatöll Ensemble used the ATA Carnet to transport instruments and sound equipment during their tour of North America and Canada.

•Tallinn and Tartu universities draw up this document to deliver their innovative equipment to various exhibitions.

•The AXXAA Science and Entertainment Center used the service to organize a portable exhibition in Norway to transport “Try It Yourself” interactive exhibits.

•Many athletes have also used the ATA Carnet – for example, for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. The Estonian Biathlon Federation has issued an ATA Carnet for transporting sports equipment to Norway to participate in the Biathlon World Cup (BMW Biathlon World Cup 2022).

• Mail robots designed and manufactured in Estonia by Starship Technoligies were also demonstrated to potential partners in the US using the ATA Carnet.

For more information about the ATA Carnet, please find on the website of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In addition to issuing certificates of origin and ATA Carnet, many partners from Arab countries ask to certify various documents, such as certificates of free sale, packing lists, invoices, contracts, agreements and even invitations.

The Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry also certifies a number of other documents. More detailed information about this service can be obtained by contacting the advisors of the Chamber of Commerce directly.

Maryu Myannik, Senior Foreign Trade Advisor,

Alexandra Kriventsova, Senior Advisor for Foreign Trade,

Anastasia Nezgovorova, Secretary of the Arbitration Court, Advisor to the Legal Department of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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