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ATA Carnet Guidelines on Insurance
The Importance of Insurance Coverage for Goods & Equipment Traveling on a Carnet
The ATA Carnet issuing authorities have made a formal statement concerning the need for insurance of the goods and equipment listed on a carnet. The ATA Carnet Handbook, Part Four, Annex B, Article 7, recommends that the carnet user have a suitable insurance policy since loss or destruction of the goods will not cause customs to abandon their claim on duties and taxes. In other words, if you cannot prove that the goods were exported because they were lost, destroyed or stolen, you will still be responsible for paying duties and taxes on those goods. That you were a victim of a crime or that the goods were lost through no fault of yours does not absolve you of the responsibility to export the goods or pay the duties and taxes.
Here is the actual statement from the IBCC (now called WATAC - the World Customs ATA Carnet Council):
Annex B - Statement on the ATA System - Adopted by the IBCC - Article 7
The issuing Chambers of Commerce recommend that the beneficiary of the carnet to sign an inclusive insurance policy against theft, fire or destruction, as customs authorities do not normally agree to abandon claims with respect to the payment of duties on goods lost or destroyed.
Note that not all commercial insurance policies continuously cover goods in transit or storage outside the US. However, there is Temporary Transit and Storage Insurance that addresses the unique risks and exposures of ATA carnet equipment and merchandise. It fills gaps that frequently exist in domestic insurance policies and policies that might be available using a freight forwarder.
For more information contact a Carnet Specialist at the CIB Carnet HelpLineSM: 1-800-ATA-2900 / 1-800-282-2900 or e-mail us.