Greater facilities requested for ATA Carnet procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic

On 20 March 2020, in the light of the recent global challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), sent a letter encouraging Contracting Parties to the Conventions on temporary admission[1] to provide sufficient facilities for ATA Carnet holders and representatives to re-export temporarily imported goods, without unexpected additional costs, in cases where delays in re-exporting were due to preventive measures taken by governments of the Contracting Parties against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
This measure was carried out in consultation with Mr. John W.H. Denton AO, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), given that many National Guaranteeing Associations (NGAs) have recently raised concerns about the fact that preventive measures implemented to limit the spread of COVID-19 might cause delays in the re-exportation of goods imported using ATA Carnets.
As many countries and cities are currently under strict quarantine and lockdown measures, Carnet holders and representatives in these affected areas are experiencing challenges in re-exporting temporarily imported goods within the requisite time period.  Some holders and representatives are unable to leave their homes or hotels, making it impossible for them to complete Customs clearance formalities and have their goods leave the country on time.  The delivery of replacement Carnets is also proving challenging, given the potential suspension of, or delays, in postal services.  More importantly, some Customs administrations do not accept replacement ATA Carnets for extension purposes.  By way of example, the ATA Convention only makes reference to the replacement of Carnets in case of destruction, loss or theft, but not for extension purposes.
Indicating that the Conventions do not preclude Contracting Parties from providing greater facilities, at their own discretion, to Carnet holders and representatives, Dr. Mikuriya asked Contracting Parties to consider ways of enhancing facilitation of ATA Carnet procedures, bearing in mind that some delays in re-exportation are entirely attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Such facilitation measures would be regarded as consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for international traffic in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as with the WCO Communiqué on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, seeking to minimize trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.


[1] Temporary Admission Conventions including the Convention on Temporary Admission (Istanbul, 26 June 1990 – commonly referred to as the Istanbul Convention) and the Customs Convention on the ATA Carnet for the temporary admission of goods (commonly referred to as the ATA Convention).

Original Source : World Customs Organizations News