The world’s first complete digital ATA Carnet path: making temporary exporting of live events easier

Pooja Sharma
3 Min Read

Business West, one of Britain’s largest Chambers of Commerce, and EFM Global, international logistics consultants for live events and special projects, have successfully transported camera equipment from Heathrow to Brussels and back using a digital carnet. The world’s first demonstration of a digital carnet in action.

When commercial goods, such as musical equipment for a touring band, are temporarily exported, this is usually done via ATA carnets. ATA carnets, also known as ‘passports for goods’, can contain more than a hundred pieces of paper, requiring numerous physical authorization stamps.

For large-scale movement of goods, such as goods involved in an international tour, there may be suitcases full of paper ATA carnets, which need to be kept and cared for, as loss or misuse can cause significant delays and costs. .

Brexit has significantly increased the number of carnets for UK businesses – carnets are now used for the movement of goods into and out of the EU – in addition to more than 50 other countries around the world.

The digitalization of the ATA Carnet system simplifies and accelerates the carnet process. It also reduces the risk of losing or damaging a carnet and reduces the impact on the environment.

Temporary exporters can apply via a digital platform and download an app, which produces a QR code that customs can scan and then digitally stamp the carnet. This has been in development for a number of years at the International Chambers of Commerce, working towards achieving proof of concept and adoption by the customs authorities of the pilot countries.

Business West and EFM Global worked with UKNATACO (UK National ATA Carnet Organisation), which oversees the operation of ATA Carnets in the UK, to ensure this ‘world first’ was a success.

James Monk, commercial director of Business West, said:

“We have listened to our customers and are committed to improving the temporary export process. We really needed to bring carnets into the digital age and this first full journey shows that the process is working. More countries will join in and help support the flow of temporary exports. We are passionate about innovation, raising the level of trade and making life easier for our customers.”

Mike Llewellyn, group CEO at EFM Global, said:

“The digital carnet is a huge step forward for international freight transport. It will make the system faster and more efficient, and we were committed to being involved in the first groundbreaking transmission using that technology.”

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