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Creative Screen Industries and Media Outlets use ATA Carnets: Essentials and Tips, Part 2

Monday, December 7, 2020

In a recent webinar Eric Huyton of Media Training Hub was joined by Curt E.H. Wilson-Managing Director and Kiel Ursin-Carnet Specialist of boomerang carnets® in presenting information about ATA Carnet use for industry professionals. Huyton has spent the last 30 years as a lighting cameraman working for major broadcasters and institutions around the world. Wilson is an authority on the flexible use of ATA Carnets and has been in the carnet business for over 30 years. Ursin is an experienced Carnet Specialist catering to the needs and deadlines specific to the industry. It is important to understand ATA Carnets because of the significant savings on import-duty and -taxes, and ease clearing Customs. According to Huyton, “It’s an essential thing to clear Customs. The carnet is not a nice thing to have—it is an essential thing to have for your trip. You’ve got to do it!”

The ATA Carnet is an internationally accepted customs document used for temporarily exported merchandise, goods, or equipment allowing cross border movement import-duty and -tax free into any of the 87+ carnet countries and territories for up to a year. Given the value of equipment moving into and out of countries for shoots, ATA Carnets offer considerable savings and serve as a temporary export declaration for goods allowing for re-entry into the U.S. duty and tax free.

The first thing you will want to do is create an account online. That done, your main task will be to compile what is referred to on the carnet as the General List. Here you will provide a reasonable written description of goods or equipment, serial numbers, value, weight, and country of manufacture. The itemized list order is something the Holder of the carnet decides. Some people prefer to group “like items”. Though it is called the General List, as Ursin pointed out, it is far from general and it is very important to be specific and accurate since this is the reference Customs Officers will use against the actual gear and equipment. Triple check everything, serial numbers, etc. A “Master” General List is printed on the back of the Front Green Cover of your ATA Carnet. Continuation sheets are provided if needed. If you have any questions during this process, boomerang will assist. Seeing customers through the carnet process has become part of our valued reputation over the years. We handle routine ATA Carnet processing, but we also help when special export requirements get more complex and demanding. Throughout the years, Curt Wilson has gotten many calls 24/7 from all over the world. It is important to note that boomerang carnets® has quality controls to assure that your documents are accurate. So, there is no need to worry. We combine automation with a thorough review process for accuracy.

TIPS: Arrive early at the airport. Give yourself at least 3 hours. With checked equipment and gear, always get the name and number of the Customs person you speak to. If needed later, you will have the proper number and contact. Customs Officers often change shifts and having this information will save time and confusion if needed later. It is also good to know the airport Customs office hours of operation & location ahead of time. Schedule an appointment with Customs when travelling on the weekend. Use our interactive Airport Maps to plan and always look up country advisories before you go as some countries have specific rules and requirements. Boomerang carnets® is happy to assist you and if you have any questions, call the Carnet Helpline® 1-800-282-2900. This is a three-part series on ATA Carnets and the benefits they provide to the creative screen industries. Check back next week for more on this topic.