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Definition: ATA

“ATA” is the combination of English and French words “Admission Temporaire-Temporary Admission.” The ATA Carnet is an international Customs certificate that a traveler might use in the short term to import certain goods into a country without having to engage in the Customs formalities that are frequently compulsory for the importation of goods, and without paying any duty or value-added taxes on the imported goods.


The United States allows for the short-term importation of commercial samples, professional gear and definite advertising materials by a nonresident individual.


Carnets are a security that all the participating countries agree to as a guarantee against the disbursement of Customs duties that may become due on goods that are momentarily imported under a carnet and are not exported as a requisite. ATA Carnet is also known as “Passport for Goods”.

What goods may be entered under an ATA carnet?

Commercial samples, professional gear and advertising material can be imported into the United States by a nonresident.

Other countries authorize the use of a carnet for the import of the materials mentioned above and an added category of goods such as:

• Ordinary goods such as mobiles, computers, accessories, cameras and video equipment, jewelry, books, machinery, automobiles, gems, and wearing apparel and designer clothes.

• Extraordinary items, for example, Van Gogh’s self-portrait, jets, human skulls, band instruments, satellites, circus animals, and the Philharmonic’s equipment of New York.


Benefits of ATA Carnet:

• ATA Carnet can be used for numerous trips during its period of validity and can be used over 72 countries.

• It allows the lessening of delays and standardizes important procedures.

• It eliminates the necessity to complete the paperwork for custom clearances.

• It saves money as we do not need to put down a ‘Bond’ every time we enter a foreign country.



A documentary director is supposed to carry a number of gadgets from one country to another for the direction purposes. In order to avoid custom charges, he can apply for an ATA Carnet and get a temporary permit for his gadgets and equipments while he enters another country for temporary period.


Hence, this concludes the definition of ATA along with its overview.


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