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Digital ATA Carnet

The dawn of the digital carnet has arrived and on the horizon is an electronic ATA Carnet document carried on your smartphone.  There is a good deal that is unknown about the transformation of it, such as, what will it be called.  We’ve seen it referred to as ”eATA”, “eCarnet”, “ATA eCarnet”, “eATA Carnet”, “e-ATA Carnet”, “digital carnet” and “digital ATA Carnet”.  Whatever it is called there are a few things about this exciting change that we know:

  • The eATA Carnet is in the global transition preparation phase with eight countries currently processing the digital carnet at some, not all, airports within their borders.  The testing is of hand-carried goods, equipment, and merchandise.  Cargo is in development.
  • During a period of transition, there will be a temporary union of the paper carnet document and the digital version.  Both will be carried simultaneously by the carnet user or their representative.
  • The digital carnet will be accessed and carried via an App on your phone.
  • Both must be processed by customs at all customs points.  The paper document will be processed and stamped by customs first and then the digital version.
  • You should not leave the customs office before ensuring the carnet’s QR code has been “greyed out.”

Temporary Union of Paper Document & Digital on Smartphone

 Curt E.H. Wilson

The need for both the paper and digital versions to be carried simultaneously is to ensure proper processing of the ATA Carnet at all customs points of entry and exit.  Though the digital eATA Carnet will come with a learning curve and period of adjustment, it will streamline clearing customs even faster than the current paper document does today.  Clearing customs expediently with your goods at borders with an ATA Carnet is one of its greatest benefits.  Curt E.H. Wilson, President and CEO, boomerang carnets commented, “The eATA Carnet will make the ATA Carnet process even more beneficial than it already is for temporary imports."

Our Innovation and Customer Service

We invented and have been processing electronic carnet applications for decades and our carnet reminder tool app, Carnet Valet, was the first of its kind in the industry.  It’s no surprise Carnet Valet has served as the blueprint for what’s coming.  

In addition, our Boomerang Carnet Distribution Centers are located throughout the U.S. and the U.K. providing quick and convenient access to carnets.  These examples of our leadership in the world of temporary exports are why we are ready for the digitization of the ATA Carnet. Not only will our 5-star customer service continue to be three steps ahead of the transformation but the positive implications for the carnet user once the system is fully-electronic are vast. 

Digital ATA Carnet Trials

There have been a couple digital carnet trials to date. These trials were conducted between the US-UK and UK-EU Customs Authorities.  Both of these trials required a preemptive call to customs in the exporting country and the importing one to give the customs officers notification when the goods under carnet would be arriving.  These trials were considered successful.


The digital ATA Carnet is developed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) World Chambers Federation (WCF).  The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) manages and guarantees the ATA Carnet system in the U.S. and designated boomerang carnets as an ATA Carnet Appointed Service Provider to USCIB in 1987.  USCIB has been involved in the ATA Carnet digitization project on a global level since 2018.  Beginning in 2008, digitalizing the paper document has been a key strategic priority among all stakeholders including ICC, the World Chambers Organization (WCO), National Customs authorities, national guaranteeing and issuing associations, ATA Carnet Service Providers and ATA Carnet holders.

Please call our Carnet HelpLine 800.ATA.2900 or email us if you have a question about the future digitization of ATA Carnets and how it might affect you.