New York, N.Y., October 2, 2007– Pakistan joined the ATA Carnet system as of October 1. ATA Carnets, which permit the duty-free and tax-free imports of goods, are an increasingly important tool for businesses engaged in international commerce.
Pakistan’s entry into the system is a strong signal that the country is committed to promoting economic growth and openness, and it represents an opportunity for American business to further tap the South Asian market.
According to the United States Council for International Business (USCIB) which administers the Carnet system in the United States, Pakistan will waive import duties on professional equipment, goods for exhibitions and fairs, and imports for scientific, educational and cultural purposes.
“Pakistan has taken an important step to opening its doors to global business,” said Cynthia Duncan, USCIB’s vice president for Carnet operations. “This measure will enhance the transparency of Pakistan customs and enable greater control of the movement of goods.”
Pakistan-based representatives of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), which oversees the system at the global level, called the country’s entry an important step toward market openness.
“ICC Pakistan advocates the ATA Carnet System as a trade facilitation measure,“ said Tariq Rangoonwala, chairman of ICC Pakistan. “This is a first step in multilateral trade facilitation in Pakistan.”
Often called “merchandise passports,” ATA Carnets are internationally recognized customs documents for temporary duty-free, tax-free import of commercial samples, professional equipment and goods displayed at trade shows. Companies around the world use them to reduce costs and speed global operations. (The acronym “ATA” is a combination of the French and English abbreviations for “temporary admission.”)
ATA Carnets will be guaranteed by the Pakistan National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The country does not plan to accept Carnets for commercial samples, postal traffic, goods for transit or unaccompanied goods.
Pakistan formally notified the World Customs Organization in June 2004 that it had ratified the Istanbul Convention of 1993, a single international instrument that combines all existing conventions on temporary importation.
Carnets are accepted in over 75 customs territories and can be used for multiple trips during a one-year period. The global ATA Carnet system is overseen by the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce. USCIB administers the Carnet system in the United States, working with service providers Roanoke Trade Services, Inc., and the Corporation for International Business.
In 2006, over 150,000 carnets were issued worldwide, covering goods valued at almost 15 billion dollars. Iran and Chile were the most recent countries to join before Pakistan, further opening up trade in Asia and Latin America.
USCIB promotes an open system of world commerce. As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, including ICC, it provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide. USCIB facilitates international trade by issuing and guaranteeing ATA Carnets, by promoting international cooperation in such areas as customs policies and commercial dispute resolution, and through its ICC Books USA unit, which publishes a variety of publications on to international trade and investment.