The ATA Carnet is a standardized international customs document used to obtain duty-free temporary admission of certain goods into the countries that are signatories to the ATA Convention. Under the ATA Convention, commercial and professional travelers may take commercial samples, tools of the trade, advertising material, and cinematographic, audiovisual, medical, scientific, or other professional equipment into member countries temporarily without paying customs duties and taxes, or posting a bond at the border of each country to be visited.

Countries participating in the ATA Carnet System include: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Singapore, Sri Lanka (certain professional equipment not accepted), South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, and United States.

Since other countries are continuously added to the ATA Carnet system, travelers should contact the U.S. Council for International Business if the country to be visited is not included in this list. Applications for carnets should also be made through the U.S. Council. The fee depends on the value of the goods to be covered. A bond, letter of credit, or bank guaranty of over 40 percent of the value of the goods is also required to cover duties and taxes that would be due if goods imported into a foreign country by carnet were not re-exported, and the duties were not paid by the carnet holder. The carnets generally are valid for 12 months.

For information can be found through the U.S. Council for International Business, 1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Phone: (212) 354-4480.