Lorry parks on motorways haven’t materialised but issues remain with EU exports and imports. One saving grace is a system which has existed longer than the EU.
ATA carnets are documents which allow most items to be temporarily exported across 80 countries globally. They operate through an international treaty created in 1961 and all EU countries are members.
Carnets remove the need to pay duties, or taxes, a cost is involved but this could cover a number of trips. An ATA carnet can be used as many times as you wish over 12 months for the same items and once in the EU, you have a border free situation.
As a removals company taking people to live in EU countries, we appreciate that business, or work ties may not end. Commuting from France is not so rare, or splitting time between the UK and Europe in other ways.
This may involve you, or colleagues carrying equipment on business journeys, perhaps display material, commercial samples, performance, or educational items.
Taking personal possessions backwards and forwards should not be an issue, even a working laptop, or a few other tools of your trade. Once you go beyond this, border officials can decide the items require a different approach.
ATA Carnets In Practice
There are three main categories, commercial samples, professional equipment and goods for trade fairs, or exhibitions. In reality, almost any non perishable item can be added to a carnet, as long as this will return to the UK in the same state.
Items for repair will not suit but others as variable as IT equipment, machinery, sports kit, even racehorses can travel on a carnet. This is often called a passport for goods, a fair statement of use.
Carnets may relate to a freight consignment but can also be used with hand luggage, at airports, or sea crossings. They are well known in the EU, with border officials in almost all countries up to speed.
If they have one slight drawback, this is a need for accuracy and a degree of planning on what you are taking before requesting a carnet.
Obtaining Your Carnet
There are two prime routes to request an ATA carnet. The first is to do so online, such as via the LCC carnet portal, or a few other chambers of commerce. They offer discounts to members, which may be helpful.
The second route is to use a professional carnet company, who will offer advice and assistance with the process. A leading UK supplier has a special section on EU ATA carnets, which will at least be worth reading.
If your needs are straightforward and consistent, cost may be the best guide. Should you have more complex requirements, or a shortage of time, seeking support should help. especially on the point of being accurate.
Carnets with errors can be refused, making you liable for duties. Part of taking out an ATA carnet is creating a detailed list of the items you are taking and the drawback mentioned is that the list can not be changed, no items suddenly added.
We don’t want this to put you off, ATA carnets are a great route to pass through borders and with the EU, they cover 27 countries. A way to stay in business if you decide to move part, or full time to Europe, with our international removals team ready to help.