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Who Are the Parties to the ATA Carnet?

Last updated on January 15th, 2020

There are several parties involved in preparing and submitting the application for an ATA Carnet. An ATA Carnet application is prepared prior to the exportation of any goods or merchandise. A Preparer (usually a logistics service provider) works to file and submit the application on behalf of the Holder (the individual or company making the temporary exportation). The Holder is the liable party and responsible for following the guidelines and obligations of the agreement. Typically, a power of attorney is also present to ensure legitimacy of the Preparer and provide authorization. 


When filling out the application, the Holder’s name will appear in box A of the Green Cover and they are the entity that is ultimately liable and responsible for all duties, taxes and additional penalties in the case that foreign customs determine that the obligations of the ATA Carnet are not met. 


An ATA Carnet is valid for 12 months from being issued and covers the exportation and re-importation of goods or merchandise to other countries. The merchandise must consist of commercial samples, professional equipment, or goods for exhibitions and fairs, and all items must be returned to the U.S. in the original condition they left. Failure to follow these regulations can result in penalties for the Holder responsible for filing the ATA Carnet. 


The Preparer is the party responsible for submitting the application on behalf of the Holder and is typically the Holder’s freight forwarder or customs house broker. When filing an ATA Carnet, a Power of Attorney is required to verify the relationship between the Holder and the Preparer and to ensure the relationship is legitimate. 


Once prepared, an authorized representative steps in to present the final ATA Carnet to customs on the Holder’s behalf. Typically, the freight forwarder or customs house broker is listed in box B on the Green Cover. If the authorized representative is not listed on the Green Cover then a the representative must provide a letter of authorization from the Holder to serve as sufficient customs clearance. 


Once approved, an ATA Carnet can be used in more than 100 different countries and territories throughout Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Fundamentally, an ATA Carnet is a tool to grow international trade so more and more countries are expected to join. 


You can find a full list of countries that currently accept ATA Carnets here


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