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FOCUS DIGITAL 2020, “ATA Carnets: A Brexit Certainty” Pt 1

Monday, January 4, 2021

In the recent FOCUS DIGITAL 2020, December 15-17, boomerang carnets® took part in the three-day forum intended to offer “a platform to connect, reconnect and share global production expertise—whether you work in film, TV, advertising, animation, or games.” Boomerang presented, “ATA Carnets: A Brexit Certainty” to demonstrate how ATA Carnets allow equipment and gear to cross international borders without payment of import-duty and -tax. Their use is particularly relevant now that Brexit is here. The speakers Curt Wilson-CEO and President of boomerang carnets®, Eric Huyton-cinematographer/founder of Media Training Hub, and Rachel Pisani-independent marketing consultant spoke of the benefits of using an ATA Carnet for international travel, each with over 30+ years of experience in their respective fields.

The ATA Carnet is an internationally accepted customs document for temporarily exported merchandise, gear, or equipment. They allow cross border movement of the equipment import-duty and -tax free into 87+ carnet countries and territories for up to a year. In today’s world, you cannot risk losing your gear or equipment on international jobs, nor do you want the burden of paying considerable duty and tax if unnecessary. Time is of the essence and budgets are tight. Meeting deadlines can be challenging in the best of circumstances. Presenting an ATA Carnet for your equipment at border crossings mitigates the risk of missing deadlines. ATA Carnets also serve as a temporary export declaration for gear allowing for re-entry into the U.S. duty and tax free. The document provides added security. Huyton describes his first-hand experience in this regard.

“I’m a documentary cameraman so I’ve traveled for over 30 years around the world. It’s part of what we do. We make documentaries in all sorts of places and it has been a fantastic privilege to be involved in that. Carnets allow us to get into and out of countries so that we can do our job. The reason we need carnets is because most productions—nine out of ten times—will take their own filming equipment. We’ve got a lot of expensive cameras, lenses, lighting kits, all sorts of things we take with us. If we are going off to a remote location or developing country, we need to have the security of knowing that we’ve got our own equipment and that it works. For BBC shoots, for instance, a typical luggage cart or carts could easily be completely full. Regardless of the number of boxes, having a carnet simply legitimizes what we’re doing. It makes it easy to go through customs. When we turn up at customs in our destination country and we go up to customs and say who we are and this is what we’re traveling with and present them with the ATA Carnet, Customs Officers know what it is."

With Brexit here, Curt Wilson reminded everyone traveling to the E.U. with equipment and gear that the E.U. is still a 1 carnet Customs territory. “Once you enter the E.U. with a carnet, you’ll be able to traverse through the entire E.U. by presenting the carnet going in and when you are coming out.” He also said that Boomerang has seen an increase in carnets for cargo this past year as a way for production companies to adapt to COVID-19 restrictions. “It is also possible to use ATA Carnets to ship gear and equipment by freight or cargo so that a crew on the other end can pick it up for use in the destination country. It is a way for production to continue. If you do want to take advantage of an opportunity and ship your equipment by cargo, boomerang has ‘tried and true’ freight forwarder partners that are able to deliver your carnet, as well as handle your freight. They can also arrange the movement of your equipment via air freight or trucking into the E.U. from England. Just call us.”

If you have any questions, call the Carnet HelpLine® 1(800)ATA-2900 | 1(800)282-2900 . Check back next week for more information. This is a two-part series.