ATA Carnets for the TV and Film Industry

Business West ATA Carnet Services Hassle Free Customs Clearance for Film TV Production Companies

Business West provides a bespoke service to support film & TV production companies to get your expensive equipment safely to its filming destination, while avoiding customs delays and also paying unnecessary tax and duties. 

What's an ATA Carnet?

ATA Carnets were not previously needed for UK businesses travelling into other EU countries, but since 1st January 2021, firms can choose to use an ATA Carnet when transporting certain goods, including camera and filming equipment, temporarily into EU countries or transiting through the EU to non-EU countries who are part of the ATA Carnet agreement. 

How does the ATA Carnet process work?

An ATA Carnet is a customs document that can be used when importing professional equipment, commercial samples or goods for exhibitions or trade fairs, temporarily into countries that are part of the ATA Carnet system. It means that your filming equipment can pass through each country’s customs border duty free and provides the respective countries with a guarantee that duties will be paid if the conditions under which the goods are allowed into the country are breached.

A carnet must be presented each time the equipment is imported, exported, or travels through a country. The list of countries that accept ATA Carnets can be found here.  

What is an ATA Carnet document? 

A carnet document acts like a passport for the goods, which requires the name of the carnet holder, dates of issue and expiry, the carnet number, and the countries where the carnet can be used. A description of the goods is printed on the reverse. 

The ATA Carnet is filled with colour coded vouchers. Yellow vouchers are used for the country of departure and return, white for overseas customs and blue for transit. 

Each sheet has a counterfoil which will be obtained by customs officers each time it is required when passing through, entering, or leaving a country.  

How long is the Carnet valid for?

A carnet is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. During this time, it can be used an unlimited number of times for exits and entries into member countries. However, goods need to be returned to the UK within 12 months. 

Do I have to be a Chamber member to obtain a Carnet?

No, you do not have to be a Chamber member, but fees are discounted if you are. 

At Business West, our International Trade team of 19 provide a bespoke service including simplification of customs procedures and completion of all Carnet vouchers. Find out more here.  

Catherine Stephens, Head of International Trade Services at Business West said: 

“If production companies are shipping their equipment into the EU or indeed other Carnet countries, an ATA Carnet will provide assurance that the goods will pass through duty free. 

“Leaving the EU has undeniably created more bureaucracy for firms, but companies can take control of the situation by ensuring all the paperwork is in place to eliminate delays and avoidable costs.” 

A Carnet must be presented each time the equipment is imported, exported, or travels through a country. The list of countries that accept ATA Carnets can be found here.   

Commenting on the support they have received in completing Carnets, Lynn Sinclair, Head of Production said: 

“Business West has been very helpful, and the team are often able to turn around Carnets in less than 24 hours which is crucial for us with last-minute changes to kit and equipment. It makes our lives a lot easier knowing we can send over the information at the last minute.” 

When asked about the advice she would give to companies looking to use Carnets she added: 

“It’s important to make sure the Carnet information is accurate as everyone has heard of a horror story where a Carnet has been incorrectly executed and the production company has had to pay a huge fee. Business West ensured all the information was accurate, which meant we avoided paying duties and our kit arrived on time.” 

How to Apply for an ATA Carnet 

To apply for an ATA Carnet, contact our team below, who will be happy to assist you or click here to go to eCERT, our online Export Documents platorm to start your application.

  • Apply for an ATA Carnet today

    Start creating and submitting your ATA Carnets today. Our online export documentation platform is nice and easy to use, with clear guides and tutorials to help you get started.

  • Business West has been very helpful, and the team are often able to turn around Carnets in less than 24 hours which is crucial for us with last-minute changes to kit and equipment. It makes our lives a lot easier knowing we can send over the information at the last minute.
    Lynn Sinclair
    Head of Production, Plimsoll Productions
  • Apply for an ATA Carnet today

    Start creating and submitting your ATA Carnets today. Our online export documentation platform is nice and easy to use, with clear guides and tutorials to help you get started.