Contact an Insurance Specialist

Customer Login

How Long is an ATA Carnet Valid For?

Last updated on January 15th, 2020

A standard ATA Carnet is valid for 12 full months from the date of issue. The expiration date is listed on the green cover and typically foreign countries allow ATA Carnet entries to stay in their economy for any length of time up until this  date. It is important for the Holder of the ATA Carnet to pay special attention to the entry notes by the customs official in box 2 on the white importation counterfoil. This will let the Holder know if there are any stipulations on the length of entry for a specific country.


An ATA Carnet is often referred to as the “Passport for goods” or the “Merchandise passport.” It is internationally recognized and standardized across all languages. It’s one document for all customs transactions. ATA Carnets are valid in many countries across nearly every continent on the planet. They are designed to move a variety of goods including vehicles, live animals, medical equipment, promotional materials (not handouts), video equipment and more. With more than 100 countries that accept ATA Carnets, it’s important to know the specific regulations for each Carnet country you plan to export goods to and from.


Known exceptions to these validity periods include:

  1. Korea
  2. Malaysia
  3. Mexico
  4. Singapore
  5. China

Foreign customs officials are authorized to limit the validity period of an ATA Carnet based on inspection. US does not limit the time the Carnet can be out of the country, and CBP has to stamp the Carnet back into the US regardless the expiration date. Again, it is vital for the Holder to inspect the white importation counterfoil to ensure they are aware of all expiration dates.


Carnet shipments can be used multiple times and in multiple countries during the one-year span. Split shipments are also generally allowed, but new items can’t be added once the ATA Carnet is officially issued. There are several countries that do not allow split shipments, these include:

  1. Mexico
  2. Bahrain
  3. Qatar
  4. United Arab Emirates

In the event that it is necessary to extend the terms of an ATA Carnet, a Replacement Carnet is needed. This must be applied for and approved prior to the expiration date on the original ATA Carnet document. A Replacement Carnet is typically issued to extend the period of time goods stay in a specific Carnet country past the initial 12 months. Only certain countries accept Replacement Carnets, so it’s important to know the regulations for each country you plan to transport your goods. For a full list of countries that accept ATA Carnets, click here.


Within the year, if an ATA Carnet is lost, stolen or destroyed, a Duplicate Carnet may be issued. This does not change the expiration date and it will still only be valid for the 12-month period originally stated on the first document.


It is also important to note that one ATA Carnet document can be used to export and re-import goods an unlimited number of times for up to one year. This means goods can travel to as many ATA Carnet member countries as necessary within that period.


Related Content You Might Have Interest In

Can an ATA Carnet be Extended?

Does US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) Accept Replacement (Extension) Carnets for Foreign Carnets in the US?

Is a Power of Attorney Needed to Present an ATA Carnet to Customs?

Who is Authorized to Present the ATA Carnet to Customs for Clearance?