Know Before You Go

Departing the US | Entering a Country | Departing a Country | Re-Entering the US
Transiting a Country | Upon Return | Know Before You Go | Glossary


Read this before preparing your application

Air Couriers

While DHL accepts Carnet shipments, FedEx and UPS (small package divisions) generally do not.

Commercial Value

U.K. customs denied entry of Carnet because the merchandise was undervalued and did not represent a “reasonable commercial value.” Using the insured value of goods on your General List will usually result in a “reasonable commercial value”.

Export/Import Requirements

Obtaining a Carnet does not release your obligation to comply with U.S. Government export controls or foreign country import controls.  Some articles may require an export license for reasons of national security and foreign policy.  An export license allows U.S. companies to export commodities that are controlled by U.S. regulations.  Check with foreign customs in advance for their restriction or requirements on goods entering their country.

Electronic Export Information Filing

Effective May 15, 2015 and as a result of changes to the Foreign Trade Regulations (FTR), ATA Carnet is exempt from filng. These changes cover both U.S. and foreign ATA Carnets, as well as those coming from and going to Chinese Taipei (TECRO/AIT). For a complete guide to the new FTR export requirements click here.

10+2 Importer Security Filing

ATA Carnets are not exempt from importer security filing (ISF, otherwise known as 10+2). However, ATA Carnet shipments ARE exempt from posting the bond required of other shipments entering or re-entering the U.S. via vessel. Except for the provision of the six digit HTSUS codes, the information needed to complete the ISF can be found on the Carnet or available from the broker clearing the entry.


It is highly recommended that identifying photographs be appended to the General List for Carnets entering European Union, especially Italy and the United Kingdom. It is also recommended that identifying photographs be appended to the General List for all types of Jewelry entries into Israel.

Holders should have blue transit certificates in their Carnet when bringing jewelry samples and/or loose precious stones to France. It is also recommended that Carnets covering jewelry and entering Switzerland for an exhibition or fair include transit sheets.

Motor Vehicles

Motor vehicles may travel on ATA Carnets only if the vehicles are commercial samples, professional equipment (e.g. for races) or to be displayed at an exhibition or fair. Special security deposit rules apply. Vehicles crossing the US Canada border as means of transportation are exempt from ATA Carnet requirements.

Personal use road vehicles (autos, motorcycles, trailers, ATVs, RVs, caravans) for touring, vacation and non-business travel need to obtain a CPD (Carnet de Passages en Douanes). To obtain a CPD, contact Monika Jadeszko at +1 847.852.3100 or, boomerang carnets for assistance. Boomerang carnets is authorized by the FIA to issue CPDs to American and Canadian residents for touring purposes.


Effective April 1, 2017 all ATA Carnet Preparers that have a horse listed on their general list will be required to complete and submit an ATA Carnet Horse Questionnaire (click to download form) along with any related supporting documentation before the ATA Carnet can be issued. USCIB recommends Preparers use the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) database as a tool to assist validation of the value of the horses in addition to the questionnaire. USCIB no longer requires that the minimum value of horse listed on the general list of the ATA Carnet be $10,000. The actual value of the horse must be listed on the general list of the Carnet.

Read this before hand-carrying or shipping your goods overseas under Carnets


To avoid a claim, have the counterfoils and vouchers validated upon entry and exit into a foreign country.  Make doubly sure that the yellow re-import voucher is stamped by US customs.  This is your last line of defense to settle a claim.

For Carnets with a valid claim, Holders are subject to a maximum penalty of 10% of the total duties and taxes levied by a foreign customs authority.  This penalty is in addition to the duties and taxes.  Holders will also be charged a USCIB Claims Handling Fee.

Carnet Shipments Held-Up at Customs

Regular business hours, contact USCIB, Carnet HQ, immediately for assistance; tel: 800-538-8937, fax: (212) 944-0012, email:

Carnet Green Cover

Upon initial departure, the Holder or authorized representative must sign the green cover. U.S. Customs must validate the green cover and a yellow exportation counterfoil to activate the Carnet for its first use.  Foreign customs may deny entry of goods under a Carnet if neither the green cover nor the exportation counterfoil is properly validated.

Restricted Carnets

A foreign customs authority has the right to restrict the duration of a Carnet shipment and require that the goods leave prior to the expiration date of the Carnet.  If a customs authority limits your stay, this will be noted on the importation counterfoil (Item 2—Final Date of Re-Exportation) at the time of entry.

Substituting Goods

U.S. Customs levied an $80,000 penalty on a U.S. Carnet Holder who knowingly substituted similar goods on General Lists for re-importation into the U.S.


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