Carnet With Swag, Mixed Bag
Items for Re-Export v.s. Giveaways
What can and can't be included on a carnet for a foreign trade show (or on a trailer traveling across borders in order to promote or sell merchandise) can be a little tricky to determine. Items for giveaway, swag, are not allowable on carnets. Many countries make exceptions for swag since it is not for sale so it is often not dutiable. However, the equipment used to display or distribute the swag may be added to a carnet assuming it will be re-exported.
Public v.s. Private Exhibitions
When attending a trade show open to the public it is straightforward. The equipment, such as a trade show booth, tools for set-up and break-down, decorations and display monitors temporarily imported for purposes of exhibiting at the trade show are allowable on a carnet. Attending private events for the purposes of demonstration are sometimes allowable events under the Exhibitions and Fairs convention but that can depend upon the country.
Vehicles Used to Transport Items for Exhibition
Vehicles used to transport items for display or exhibition at a trade show or similar event are also allowed on a carnet. However, trucks, trailers or containers used to transport items for sale may not be put on a carnet generally. When the transport vehicle is dual purpose it is best to consult with a Carnet Specialist for what is allowable.
It is also worth noting that events that are considered trade exhibitions or fairs for purposes of the carnet can include, but are not limited to, charitable events, events for the promotion of friendship between people and meetings of a commemorative nature. The scope of the carnet exhibitions and fairs convention is described in the ATA Handbook - Customs Convention on the ATA Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods.