Drones & Carnets: Forget Consistency
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Drones & Carnets: Forget Consistency

Monday, March 19, 2018

The public sensitivity to drone (small, unmanned aerial vehicles) exports and imports triggered an informal poll of ATA Carnet National Guaranteeing Associations (NGA) recently. The World ATA Carnet Council (WATAC) collected responses from 50 of its members regarding the inclusion and acceptance of drones on ATA Carnets.

The survey results were only interesting for the lack of conclusions that could be drawn from them. The one conclusion that is clear is that successfully temporarily exporting a drone on a carnet requires research into the regulations of the importing country. There is no consistency.

About half of the NGAs reported their customs authorities issue carnets for drones. Another half confirmed that their customs authorities accepted drones on carnets but 38% didn’t actually know. Only 10% confirmed that they did not accept drones on carnets.

The survey attempted to determine whether the intended use of the goods (commercial samples, professional equipment or goods for exhibitions and fairs) was a factor but the answers were inconclusive. It also tried to find out whether the size of the drone made a difference and whether the presentation of a license/certificate/permit was a relevant. So many NGAs were uncertain about these factors (at least 30% in all cases didn’t know the answer) that it is impossible to draw any conclusions.

Boomerang carnets has issued ATA Carnet for many drones and advises as with any dual-use items.  These may be export-controlled items that should be licensed. Consult with the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) for further guidelines. Acceptance of U.S. originating drones on carnet into another country may be dependent on a few different factors. It is advised to contact foreign customs either directly or through a knowledgeable freight forwarder.

In theory, a drone is not different than any other dual-use or defense item listed on a carnet and temporarily exported. In those cases, it is always the responsibility of the applicant to ensure they have the appropriate export licenses where required and to conform with any import regulations that apply to this type of technology.

For further guidance, contact a Carnet Specialist at 800.ATA.2900 or 800.282.2900.