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Crossing International Borders with Watches or Jewelry? Consider an ATA Carnet

Friday, February 9, 2024

Call boomerang carnets for your ATA Carnet.

Have you ever been stopped by customs at an international border for carrying your luxury watch or jewelry?  This came to the attention of millions when Arnold Schwarzenegger was detained at Munich Airport in January for not declaring his custom-made Audemars Piguet wristwatch valued at 26,000€. He was traveling with it to Austria with plans to donate the watch for auction at a fundraising event.  Mr. Schwarzenegger was detained by Munich Customs for three hours and was subject to pay an estimated 35,000€, in addition to 4,000€ in tax value and a penalty of 5,000€. 

If you frequently travel with your watches, particularly if they belong to the category of "luxury watches" known for their exceptional craftsmanship, beauty, and higher value, you may consider using an ATA Carnet.  Luxury watch brands such as Rolex, Breitling, Cartier, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Nomos Glashutte, Omega, TAG Heuer, Zenith, Longines, Hublot, Frederique Constant, Leyton Orient, and Garmin fall under this category.

What is an ATA Carnet?

The ATA Carnet is an internationally accepted customs document for temporarily exported merchandise or goods.  It allows cross border movement of those goods import-duty and -tax free into 87+ carnet countries and territories for up to a year.  The ATA Carnet is known as the Merchandise Passport for boomerang freight® and ideal for traveling abroad with merchandise that will return to the country of origin.  Without it, import-duty and -tax must be paid to foreign customs.  The ATA Carnet provides the added security of two, or more, customs services (foreign and domestic) approving the cross-border movement of goods prior to departure.  If you want to ensure smooth travels and hassle-free customs clearance for your valuable timepieces consider using an ATA Carnet. 

In covering the incident at Munich Airport, Fratello Watches, a highly regarded watch aficionado platform linked the Arnold story to an informative article, “How To Travel With Your Watches Like a Pro.”  It has useful tips on how not to run into trouble while traveling.  It involves the considerations and planning strategies needed especially if you are travelling with multiple watches which is “risky,” the article states, “unless you’re using a Carnet (a document that allows one to take a good into a country temporarily).”

It matters where you get your carnet.

Boomerang carnets® has assisted the watch and jewelry industry for over 37 years with their ATA Carnets.  Watchmakers and jewelers rely upon the expert customer service, savings, convenience, and security we provide.  We have the experience and safeguards in place to protect your information, itinerary, and list of items in your traveling cache.  Your savings, security, and satisfaction are our top considerations.  You can proceed with confidence knowing that any information you provide is safe, secure, and protected with appropriate defenses from cyberattack and breach.  Country Advisories specific to Jewelers, where applicable, are available on our website.

Thank you to Fratello Watches & Michael Stockton for the links to our website where visitors can learn about the benefits of ATA Carnet use when crossing international borders with luxury watches.  It would be our pleasure to assist your readers.

Call us!

Boomerang’s Carnet Specialists provide expert customer service.  We are here to assist you 24/7, just call the Carnet HelpLine® 1-800-ATA-2900 |1-800-282-2900 or email us.  UK Carnet inquiries as well.  Also, if you have equipment, goods, or merchandise to ship as cargo, instead of hand-carry or accompanying baggage, Boomerang has freight forwarder partners who can deliver your carnet, as well as handle your freight.  Ask about our Boomerang Freight Solutions® when you call or email us.   

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