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Envisioning a Digital ATA Carnet

Wednesday, June 21, 2017



  • 87 Customs & Revenue Authorities
  • 87 Computer Systems (or lack thereof)
  • Multiple languages
  • Vast carnet experience
  • Limited carnet experience
  • Relatively small percentage of Customs transactions
  • Increasing focus on border security
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) oversight

Mix together for fifty years, adding new actors as they join the international carnet system. Bake with divine intervention. Hope for the best.

While the ICC, through its World ATA Carnet (WATAC), group wrestles with this unwieldy recipe to digitize the ATA Carnet, U.S. efforts to move the paper document into the 21st century are in full swing. An ATA Carnet Working Group has been formed amongst the ATA Carnet Service Providers (SPs) including boomerang carnets and the U.S. National Guaranteeing Association, the United States Council for International Business.

Boomerang carnets has been able to process carnet applications electronically for decades and most recently has started delivering the paper carnet document to key customers and suppliers electronically. What remains is:

1) integration of carnet data into CBP's ACE portal to Customs has visibility into ATA Carnet data, and

2) an internationally-developed system to present, activate, validate and track ATA Carnets electronically to Customs around the world.

The previously-mentioned Working Group is addressing data entry and transmission into ACE and, WATAC, which has U.S. representation, has already implemented a worldwide electronic system to collect ATA Carnet data, country-by-country.

The positive implications for the carnet user once the system is fully-electronic are vast. Boomerang carnets has long maintained that the most important aspect of carnet customer service is the post-issuing support. This often includes tracking and re-tracing the path of travel of a physical ATA Carnet document. "We are anxiously looking forward to the day when we can help a client locate their ATA Carnet by pressing a few buttons on a keyboard," boomerang carnets' President Curt Wilson commented.

Stay tuned here for digital carnet updates as they happen. We look forward to advancing the ATA Carnet system to even better support carnet users and facilitate temporary international trade transactions.