Hyderabad, October 16th, 2023: FICCI hosted the Workshop on ‘ATA Carnet’ at Hyatt Place, Hyderabad, today. ATA Carnet is an International uniform customs document issued in 79 countries including India and is considered as a passport for goods, which facilitates the green channel route for doing business in India and Abroad.
Mr D. P. Naidu, IRS, Principal Commissioner, Hyderabad Customs Commissionerate; delivered the Keynote address at the Workshop. Mr Satish Kumar Reddy, Trade Facilitation Expert and Consultant, ADB; enlightened the audience on ‘Customs Perspective on ATA Carnet’; Ms S. Vijayalakshmi, Director, FICCI addressed the gathering on ‘FICCI’s Role on ATA Carnet, Application Procedures & its benefits. Mr Chakravarthi AVPS, Chair, International Trade, FTCCI; Mr Sumeet Gupta, Assistant Secretary General, FICCI; and Mr Suresh Kumar Singhal, Senior Vice President, FTCCI; spoke on the occasion.
ATA Carnet is an International Uniform Customs document issued in 79 countries including India, which are parties to the Customs Convention on ATA Carnet. It permits duty-free temporary admission of goods into a member country without the need to raise customs bonds, payment of duty, and fulfillment of other customs formalities in one or a number of foreign countries. ATA Carnet simplifies the customs procedures and clearance in a foreign land, without payment of duty or a bank guarantee for temporary import into that Country. The initials “ATA” are an acronym of the French and English word “Admission Temporaire / Temporary Admission.” Like a passport for goods, ATA Carnet (pronounced Karnay) allows for the goods for which it was issued to enter any of the participating countries for up to one year.
ATA Convention is signed by 79 countries around the world, the system is a perfect illustration of how close cooperation between business and customs can facilitate and stimulate international trade. Each country in the system has a single guaranteeing body approved by the national customs authorities and the ICC World Chambers Federation. The National Guaranteeing Association is entitled to issue Carnets and to authorize local chambers on the national territory to deliver them on its behalf. In major trading nations, dozens of local chambers have that authority. In India, FICCI has been appointed as the National Issuing and Guaranteeing Association (NIGA) for the operation of the ATA Carnet system.
This service is available to exhibitors at trade fairs, business and sales executives, and traveling professionals, such as film crews, architects, artists, engineers, entertainers, photographers, sports teams, and many more. A single Carnet covers visits to an unlimited number of ATA countries in a year. It thus provides a simple and speedy way to travel abroad with business materials, saving both time and money.
Speaking on the occasion Mr D. P. Naidu said that in Hyderabad mainly, the media, cinema, and entertainment sectors have been using ATA Carnet and not much by other sectors. Major usage was during the formula racing in Hyderabad when cars were imported and exported back. With this awareness initiative of FICCI, more and more may come forward to use this facility. I assure you that Hyderabad customs will be at the forefront in facilitating any ATA Carnet utilization. Hyderabad Air Cargo has an International courier terminal for export at the International airport, we are facilitating courier imports also in a couple of weeks, currently import courier comes through Bangalore.
A lot of trade facilitation measures have been undertaken by the Indian Customs Department, as part of the Government of India’s reforms toward trade liberalization or globalization. Starting from the electronic data the EDI system, an electronic portal for import and export, and the risk management system, where instead of a physical examination of each and every consignment, 90% of consignments are cleared through the risk management system, where the system identifies and gives clearance, only a few cases, the system selects for examination or assessment. We have also a self-assessment for the importers and exporters to assess themselves. As part of ease of doing business lot of other measures have been adopted, the latest being the Turant customs, through which customs brought various partner agencies on a single platform to ensure swift online clearance by everyone.
Through Turant customs assessment is faceless, paperless, and contactless, there is uniformity in assessment and faster facilitation. We also have 24/7 customs clearance in Hyderabad air cargo, though not many people are using it. There is also Direct Port Delivery, where the containers of imported goods can go directly to the factory of the persons who are recognized, instead of opening and examining them, which takes a lot of time.
Similarly, for exports there is a direct port entry, where self-sealing is done at the factory and directly goes to the port, there is no need for the CFS and other formalities. There is an Authorised Economic Operators Program, where certain categories of exporters who are recognized by the department, for whom duty payment differs and faster clearance is accorded. The vision for customs is to use technology to our advantage, facilitate better and faster trade management, reduce dwell time, and reduce logistic costs, which helps make our goods less expensive and we get more export market.
Mr Satish Kumar Reddy said, ATA Carnet is not very popular yet in India, so there is huge potential for it. ATA Carnet is an instrument for temporary admission of goods into one or more countries and bring them back and also bring goods to India and send them back. It’s a globally recognized instrument by approximately a hundred countries and usage is widespread in many countries. It’s useful for sending goods for display at Fairs and exhibitions, for sending commercial samples, for sending equipment for a temporary purpose like media cameras coming from abroad for the World Cup, etc. Annually goods worth $26 are traded under Carnet.
This system works by appointing a national Association in every country, either for issuing the carnet for exporting or for importing to guarantee it. There’s often one association that does both in each country and in India it is FICCI. Carnet provides for duty-free temporary import and temporary export, with no duties involved, and is a very simple custom formality. Carnet serves as a customs declaration, bill of entry, and shipping document and one need not file any other document, this itself is a bond or BG. The Association that issues it will guarantee to Customs that in case of breach or re-export doesn’t happen, the Association will compensate Customs. Carnet is valid for one year and the goods have to be returned in a year.
Advantages of ATA Carnet System
· The ATA Carnet System offers advantages to the customs authorities and the trading community, including individuals, enterprises, and trade organizations who need temporary duty-free importation facilities to prospect outlets for their products on foreign markets.
· ATA Carnet does away with the need for a customs document at each border point, reducing paperwork for customs officials and Carnet holders.
· For businesses, ATA Carnet does away with the need for the deposit of a personal or real guarantee at the border point of each country of temporary admission.
o For both the Carnet holder and the customs: no further customs document needs to be completed nor any other security produced upon arrival in the territory of temporary admission.
· ATA carnet is valid for one year. During this period its holder can use it abroad for the goods covered, for as many trips as he wishes from his home country to one or more of the other countries.
o This is particularly useful if the holder of the ATA Carnet intends to import goods temporarily into various countries in the course of the same journey, e.g. if a commercial traveler wishes to show samples to a number of potential buyers in different countries.
· For customs, the use of the ATA Carnet entails less administrative work and increased customs safety since the payment of import duties and taxes is guaranteed by the Guaranteeing Association affiliated with the ATA guarantee chain in the territory of temporary admission. The guarantee is automatic, and the customs need not check its validity for each carnet.
In addition, the system does not affect the revenue of the nation since the goods covered by the ATA Carnets are intended for re-exportation and not at all for sale in the country of temporary admission. The system is “self-policing” in that, should the Carnet holder fail to re-export the goods within the period of validity of the Carnet, duties become payable.
ATA Carnet in India – Operationalized by Notification No. 157/90 Customs, as amended.
Initially in India, the ATA Carnet system dealt with only those goods covered under the government-approved exhibitions/fairs or similar events. However, with effect from 5th October 2016, CBIC vide Notification No. 58/2016-Cus extended the scope of ATA Carnet to cover private exhibitions/fairs or similar events.
The scope of the system has been further expanded vide CBIC Notification No. 04/2018 dated 18th January 2018 to cover professional equipment meant for TV/film shoots, press/media coverage, sporting events, testing & calibration, etc.