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Frequently Asked Questions

In order to properly sell goods off an ATA Carnet and avoid a claim, the carnet user needs to contact a local, foreign customs office to determine the appropriate procedure.

Once a carnet is issued, the General List (the list of goods or equipment) can never be amended. However, split shipments are possible if the certificates are properly marked. Additional certificates are also available if more trips are planned than orginally anticipated. The carnet can also be used for additional countries that were not identified at the time the carnet was issued. It is advisable to contact your carnet issuer if you decide to travel to a country not originally anticipated since some countries have requirements (See Advisories) that others do not have.

As the guaranteeing association, the U.S. Council for International Business is required to take security, usually 40% of the merchandise value (note: India requires 55% ), to cover any customs claim that might result from an improperly used carnet. Your carnet application can serve as a surety bond application at the time you apply online.

Acceptable forms of security are: certified check or surety bond.

Cash security is returned to the Carnet holder once the Carnet is canceled. Bond premiums are non-refundable.

Boomerang carnets® processes carnet applications and delivers completed carnets within 24 hours at no additional charge if the application is received by 4 p.m. Central Time. Guaranteed Next Day Delivery and Same Day Delivery are available for an additional charge. Delivery options and their associated costs are available here.

Some circumstances under which a claim will be filed:
1. Goods are not re-exported within one year.
2. Carnet certificates are not properly validated by customs inspectors on the way into or out of the U.S. or a foreign country.
3. Improper or inadequate description of merchandise on the General List.

When using the international customs document, The Merchandise Passport, it:

In December 1961, to encourage world trade, the Customs Co-Operation Council now known as the World Customs Organization (WCO) adopted , the "Customs Convention on the ATA Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods." The purpose was to reduce the obstacles caused by varying national customs regulations. The initials "ATA" are an acronym of the French and English words "Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission."

Carnets are issued and guaranteed by national groups, which administer the ATA system under a set of conditions established by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) World Chambers Federation (WCF).

The U.S. Council for International Business was appointed by the Treasury Department in 1968 to manage the ATA Carnet system in the United States. Typically, the U.S. Council issues over 10,000 Carnets a year covering goods valued at over one billion dollars.

You will need to review the information on the Application Checklist to make sure you have all the data you will need to complete your application. Then click Log In from the Main Menu.

Virtually all goods, personal and professional, including commercial samples and professional equipment, and goods intended for use at tradeshows and exhibitions. Whether you are a tour manager for the music industry, an international sales manager, a chief financial officer of a Fortune 1000 company, a photographer or a small business owner traveling with temporary exports, an ATA Carnet can make the journey easier and help control costs.

Ordinary goods such as computers, tools, cameras and video equipment, industrial machinery, musical instruments, automobiles, gems and jewelry, and wearing apparel are all acceptable merchandise.

Extraordinary items, for example, Van Gogh’s Self-portrait, Ringling Brothers Tigers, Cessna Jets, Paul McCartney’s Band, World Cup-class yachts, satellites, and the New York Philharmonic are also acceptable. Even DYI electronics a.k.a homegrown mechatronic gizmos can be listed on a carnet no matter how custom the device or whether it is a one-off.

Carnets do not cover: consumable goods (food and agricultural products), disposable items, or postal traffic.

There are 4 steps to getting a carnet. To submit an ATA Carnet application contact a customer service representative and obtain a login ID and password. Then log in to the secure application from the Home Page. To prepare the required information for the application, prior to logging in, refer to the application checklist.

CIB CARNET Helpline®: 1-800-ATA-2900 / 1-800-282-2900
CARNETS-BY-FAX®: 1-847-381-3857

boomerang carnets®
217 Park Avenue
Barrington, IL 60010-3096

Applicants may choose from several payment options: credit card, ACH Deposits, wire transfers, check or cash. For credit card users: your credit card statement will list a charge from "BoomerangCarnets-CIB."  A convenience fee applies to credit card payments.

In 87 countries and territories around the world. See a complete list of countries and territories.

In the U.S. there are two types of carnets issued: ATA and TECRO/AIT. TECRO/AIT carnets are used for temporary imports in Taiwan which only accepts the TECRO/AIT carnet. Carnets are international customs documents often called Merchandise Passports for Boomerang Freight®. Carnets facilitate temporary imports into foreign countries. By presenting an ATA Carnet document to foreign customs, you pass import duty free and import tax free into a carnet country for up to one year. ATA Carnets also serve as the registration of goods in the US upon re-importation.


What is a Carnet For?
The Purpose of a Carnet: Temporary Importation for boomerang freight®

A Carnet or ATA Carnet is an international customs document issued by 87 countries and territories. It is presented when entering a Carnet country with merchandise or equipment that will be re-exported within 12 months. It is sometimes called The Merchandise Passport for Boomerang Freight®. (Information about using carnets in non-carnet countries.)

Upon presentation, the Carnet permits the equipment or merchandise to clear customs without the payment of import duties and import taxes* such as VAT or GST. Payment is not necessary because the Carnet guarantees that the merchandise or equipment will be re-exported within a year. Thus the use of a Carnet is a way of temporarily importing into foreign countries without payment of import duties and taxes. Carnets also serve as the U.S. registration of goods so that the goods can re-enter the U.S. without payment of duties and taxes.


*A few countries and municipalities levy taxes in addition to import taxes. These can be called usage taxes, for instance. Carnet holders have infrequently had to pay these taxes in countries such as India or China. Since they are not import taxes the ATA Carnet will not apply to these taxes. If you have more questions about taxes in carnet countries please contact Curt E.H. Wilson to discuss.


Basic processing fees are determined by the value of the shipment. Basic processing fees range from $255 to $545, effective February 1st, 2022. Additional costs may be incurred in obtaining security or other services. Once you submit your application online, a Carnet Specialist will contact you to discuss details and costs. In most cases, a surety bond is required and that fee is in addition to the basic processing fee. A budgeting worksheet for download is available to help you estimate your costs. Carnet Customer Service Representatives and Carnet Specialists can also assist you by phone in estimating carnet costs: for more info contact boomerang carnets® Carnet HelpLine® (800) ATA-2900 / (800)282-2900 or e-mail us.

There are no hidden on-line charges or monthly membership costs.


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