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June 26, 2018
New pilot project to make the ATA Carnet fully electronic
The World Chambers Federation (WCF) of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) announced the first stage of a pilot project to digitalise the ATA Carnet. The Carnet is a customs document allowing duty- and tax-free movement of certain goods for up to one year. ATA is a French and English acronym of "Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission."
Carnets are commonly used by sales people and manufacturers to bring their wares into foreign countries to show as commercial samples to potential customers or to display at trade fairs and exhibitions.
The new project, known as Mercury II, will revolutionise the ATA Carnet by digitalising processes, making transactions and travel easier and more efficient for businesses and customs offices alike.
Endorsed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) earlier this year and back by more than 15 nations and the European Union (EU), the Mercury II pilot project is set to test a real-time ATA Carnet lifecycle management system proposed by ICC WCF.
The system is being developed and is expected to be live for testing between October 2018 and March 2019. During the development stage, approximately four countries, along with their respective national guaranteeing associations (Chambers of commerce, etc) and national customs agencies, will be appointed to participate and will be announced in the near future.
The ATA Carnet system is currently in force in 78 countries and there was approximately 185,000 ATA Carnets issued in 2017 covering goods valued at US$26 billion. A digitalised Carnet will not only facilitate transactions but also increase data security, reduce exceptions and improve administration.
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