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How to Use an ATA Carnet

Last updated on August 26th, 2016

If you need any assistance with how to use your ATA Carnet please contact your ATA Carnet Help Desk at 1.800.Carnets (1.800.227.6387) or by email at Here are a few important points to keep in mind before you depart:

Clearing U.S. Customs

Depart the U.S. – Use Green Cover and Yellow Exportation counterfoil No. 1.

  1. At initial departure, the Holder/authorized representative signs the Green Cover in box “J.” and presents the ATA Carnet to U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) for activation upon its first use. CBP must validate the ATA Carnet by signing and stamping Section H: “Certificate by Customs at Departure” on the Green Cover. If not validated, Foreign Customs may deny entry of the goods. Completion of Section H and validation of an Exportation counterfoil eliminates the need to complete a Certificate of Registration, CBP form 4455.
  1. CBP notes the items leaving the U.S. in section box 1 of the yellow exportation counterfoil and stamps box 7. It is the Holder’s responsibility to ensure that CBP has indicated the correct items, especially in cases of partial or split shipments. For details on the correct annotations for partial or split shipments please see page 12.

Reenter the U.S. – Use the Yellow Re-importation counterfoil bearing the same number as the Yellow Exportation counterfoil used at the time of departure.

Sec.148.11 of the CBP Code states “All articles brought into the United States by any individual shall be declared to a Customs officer at the port of first arrival…” CBP typically allows the goods to reenter the U.S. even if the ATA Carnet has expired. The expiration date only limits entry into foreign countries.

  1. Present the ATA Carnet to CBP at the time of re-entry.
  1. CBP indicates only the items re-entering in box 1 on the yellow re-importation counterfoil and stamps box 6.
  1. IMPORTANT. Upon returning to the U.S., the Re-importation counterfoil must be validated by CBP. This is the last line of defense in resolving a possible claim from foreign Customs.

Clearing Foreign Customs

Enter a Foreign Country – Use the White Importation counterfoil and its corresponding Importation voucher.

  1. Complete sections D-F on the voucher. Indicate only the items that are entering the country in box F(a). Specify in box F(b) the intended use of the ATA Carnet: name of the trade show or exhibition, sales meeting, or television show.
  1. Sign and date the voucher.
  1. Present the ATA Carnet to customs at the time of entry.
  1. Note on the counterfoil box 1 only the items that are entering.
  1. Foreign Customs has the right to restrict any visit to less than one year regardless of the ATA Carnet expiration date. Be sure to comply with the date noted in box 2 of the counterfoil “Final Date for Re­exportation/production to the Customs of goods”.
  1. Foreign Customs validates the counterfoil and the voucher, removing and retaining the voucher for their records.

Departing Foreign Customs

Depart a Foreign Country – Use the White Re-exportation counterfoil and voucher that has the same number as the most recently used Importation counterfoil and voucher.

  1. Complete sections D-F of the Re-exportation voucher. Indicate the items that are departing in box F(a). Also indicate the corresponding Importation voucher number in the second part of box F(a). Complete Section F(b, c, d), if applicable.
  1. Sign and date the voucher.
  1. Present the ATA Carnet to customs at the time of departure.
  1. Note the items that are departing in the foreign country in box 1 of the Re-exportation counterfoil.
  1. Foreign Customs validates the counterfoil and voucher, retaining the voucher to match with the Importation voucher.
  1. For items sold abroad, it is advisable to obtain a customs receipt, which indicates the ATA Carnet No. and the amount of duties/taxes/penalties paid.
  1. Use in the EU: Customs authorities in the European Union will not validate ATA Carnets for goods moving between EU member countries. Before departure from the EU, assure validation of the Re-exportation counterfoil and voucher.
  1. Penalties: All items not re-exported whether lost, stolen, or destroyed, are subject to all applicable duties, taxes, and possible penalties. Holders who fail to have the ATA Carnet validated at departure may be charged a regularization fee by Foreign Customs.

Transiting a Country (if applicable)

Use two blue Transit counterfoils (both bear the same number) and vouchers (both bear the same number).

Transits are used when merchandise travels by land through a country that lies between the country of departure and the next country of entry (for example: leaving Germany to go to Italy, but passing through Switzerland).

Transit may also be used when a Holder is attending an exhibition/fair or for traveling between customs jurisdictions in the same country.

At the Time of Entry

  1. Complete boxes D-E on both Transit vouchers. Indicate in box F(a) the customs port from which the goods will exit.
  1. Indicate only the items that are transiting in the lower half of box F(a).
  1. Sign and date the vouchers.
  1. Present the ATA Carnet to customs at the port of entry.
  1. Foreign Customs notes the items, port of dispatch, and final date for re-exportation on the counterfoil under “Clearance for Transit” boxes 1 & 2. Be sure to comply with this date and the port of departure.
  1. Customs completes boxes 4-7 on both counterfoils and box H of the first voucher. One voucher will be removed.

At the Time of Departure

  1. Present the ATA Carnet to customs at the port of discharge.
  1. Customs at the port of discharge will complete the “Certificate of Discharge” on the second counterfoil and box H of the second voucher and then remove the second voucher.
  1. The transit is complete when boxes 3-6 of the second counterfoil have been validated and both vouchers have been removed by customs.

Final Return to the US

Your ATA Carnet is the property of USCIB. Upon completion of the final trip, the original ATA Carnet, including all used and unused counterfoils and vouchers, must be returned to Roanoke Services via receipted mail. Keep a copy of the entire ATA Carnet, including the unused sheets, for your records.

Attn: ATA Carnet Department
1475 East Woodfield Road
Suite 500
Schaumburg, IL 60173

If you have any questions please contact your ATA Carnet Help Desk at 1.800.CARNETS (1.800.227.6387) or