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Santa Suffers With Pre-Carnet Nightmare

Santa's Nightmare

"Santa has been bleary-eyed and subdued," reports Mrs. Claus. "The pre-carnet nightmare has been plaguing him again, poor thing. He just can't get the events of 2009 out of his head. That was the year customs snafus held up deliveries and caused worldwide disappointment for millions of children. It was a low point for all of us at the North Pole." Now, years later, Santa is losing sleep over that 2009 delivery disaster.

The Solution

Hearing of Santa's malaise, Curt Wilson, President of carnet issuer boomerang carnets®, reached out to the North Pole. He invited Santa to meet for hot chocolate toddies in New York this week. Wilson plans to reassure Santa that the ATA Carnet is still the solution to his fears.

With Jerry Blufari, Lead Elf's, urging, Santa agreed to meet Mr. Wilson and will bring a list of concerns (which he will check twice) to be addressed at the meeting. Wilson quipped, "Santa can be a sensitive guy. He really cares about pleasing the kids. I'm sure this is just a temporary condition that will pass with some reassurance and a reminder of our 24/7/365 service, not to mention the accessibility of the CIB Carnet HelpLine®."

The 2009 Delivery Disaster

Problems surfaced in 2009 when Santa had to send his elves (or outside contractors) on last-minute "flash" deliveries of toys while his impounded gear, including the eight tiny reindeer, prancing and pawing, awaited release from customs. For millennia Santa had relied on the wink and a nod of customs inspectors in 196 countries around the world to expedite his holiday voyage. But in the new climate of heightened security and economic pressure even Santa Claus couldn't just lay his finger on aside of his nose anymore.

In 2010, afraid of repeating the 2009 debacle of border delays, and on Mrs. Claus’ orders, the North Pole Logistics Department conducted a comprehensive audit of Santa’s Christmas Eve international delivery procedures. Serendipitously, Mrs. Claus saw a video with an ATA Carnet carried on Air Force One by a CNN crew for the NATO Summit in Lisbon . Mrs. Claus quipped, “If it was good enough for President Obama, it’s good enough for Santa Claus.” With that, she e-mailed ATA Carnet providers in Russia , Denmark , Norway, Canada and the United States to get the documentation arranged. “The North Pole is bordered by several world powers and they were all clamoring to issue the first ATA Carnet to Santa Claus. In the spirit of multinational cooperation, we decided to use a carnet from each of them. Santa returned to whistling, shouting, bounding and being lively and quick,” Mrs. Claus stated diplomatically.

Delivery delays peaked in 2009 with heightened security measures and pressure to collect customs duties and import taxes. Previously, Santa’s gear, considered tools-of-the–trade to be temporarily imported, was allowed to clear customs everywhere with a traditional wink and nod. The professional equipment traveled under a special international temporary import document known as the CEEF00 or the Christmas Eve Exception Form 00 issued by the International Chamber of Commerce. That year, however, many customs agencies refused to honor the CEEF00 on the grounds that it didn’t provide adequate guarantees of re-exportation and inspection. Specifically, the Chinese, Chilean, Australian, French and Canadian customs authorities made a big clatter. They required production of all the usual customs clearance paperwork, duty and tax deposits and veterinarian certifications.

“Fortunately, freight forwarder Western Overseas in New York provided an iPad app with all the customs forms. Otherwise Christmas would have been postponed ‘til the 26th,” exclaimed Lead Elf, Jerry Blufari. In a rare admission Blufari even confessed that Confirmed Freight, SOS Global, the gold medal-winning U.S. Bobsled team and boomeranger David Hirsch were called in to assist in expediting deliveries and filling stockings.