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ATA Carnet Best Practices


Implementing these best practices assist carnet users to manage, track and return ATA Carnets to their service provider upon completion of the final trip or at the end of the valid carnet term, whichever comes first. The timely return of the carnet is the most important best practice for a carnet user.

         1. Know your Obligations and Responsibilities

The Carnet Terms and Conditions contain your obligations and responsibilities as a carnet holder. Failure to fully understand and comply with these obligations may result in assessment of duties, taxes and penalties. A complete and careful review of your obligations is necessary to prevent financial loss. You must agree to these terms and conditions each time you apply for an ATA Carnet.

        2. Read and Follow the Instructions

Complete instructions for the proper use of the carnet are found on the inside of the orange and yellow US carnet jacket. This information is also available in video format in the Making Carnets Easy video series. The ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) also provides “Notes on the Use of the Carnet” on the inside back green cover of the carnet.

       3. Require Employee Training

Any employee (or agent) that handles the carnet or the carnet merchandise/equipment potentially exposes the carnet holder to a claim. To protect the carnet holder, all personnel involved with carnets should be trained in the proper use of the carnet and should understand the responsibilities associated with using the carnet. Your service provider can provide training to assist new personnel in the proper use of the carnet.

      4. Retain a Copy of the Unused Carnet

Upon receiving the carnet, make a copy/scan of every page for future reference. Make sure that the carnet number is clearly visible on the copy/scan. Make note of the expiration date in the section G. c) on the front of the green cover.

      5. Keep Track of Carnet Expiration Dates

Note the date the carnet expires and record the expiration in a calendar or diary that is easily accessible and has reminder capabilities. The carnet must be returned to the issuing service provider following the final trip or within 15 days of the expiration date, whichever comes first. Note that customs, US and foreign, always have the right to modify an expiration date in section 2 on the relevant certificate (white counterfoil): “Final date for duty‐free re‐importation/exportation/production.”

      6. Require Regular Notification By Your Freight Forwarder

Your freight forwarder is your partner in tracking and ensuring the timely return of the carnet. They should be instructed to notify you when your carnet crosses each border and is validated. This will leave a trail of e‐mail notifications tracking the path of the carnet until the last trip is complete. Additionally the freight forwarder should be instructed to notify you and your service provider if, for any reason, a carnet is not used and/or cannot be located. The sooner boomerang carnets’ receives this type of information the more likely we can avoid a costly problem later on.

      7. Use the Online Carnet Reports

Regularly refer to any online carnet reports that are available from your carnet service provider. Carnet users can see all their boomerang carnets, carnets by issue date or expiration date and can search for the issue and expiration dates by carnet number. If there is any question about when a boomerang carnet expires, this information is available 24/7 from your password‐protected area of You will need your log in ID and password to access your confidential carnet data. It is recommended that you schedule a monthly review of carnets that will expire in the next 30 days. This is a simple report that can be found online within minutes. Note: Carnets issued by other service providers are not accessible in the boomerang carnets database.

     8. Use the USCIB and boomerang carnets Expiration Notifications

Thirty (30) and sixty (60) days prior to the expiration of every carnet, boomerang carnets emails reminder notices. These serve as reminders to locate and return the carnet to cancel any outstanding liability.

    9. Make a Copy of the Used Carnet Prior to Returning It

Make a copy/scan of the used carnet each time it is in your possession and once it is ready to be returned to the service provider that issued it. Be sure to copy all pages including those that were not used. Then send the used carnet with all pages to your service provider using a traceable method.

    10. Purchase Lost, Stolen or Destroyed Carnet Document/Regularization Fee Warranty Protection
Boomerang carnets’ offers low‐cost protection in case the carnet gets lost, stolen or destroyed and needs to be replaced. The protection covers the expense of Regularization Fees as well. The warranty provides up to $600 per carnet to cover Regularization Fees, processing fees and shipping of the carnet to its destination. The warranty option is available at the time you apply for a carnet.

    11. When in Doubt, Ask a Carnet Specialist

Contact your carnet service provider at any time with questions or concerns. Early intervention is essential to prevent claims.