The ATA Carnet is an international document for the temporary, duty-free admission of goods. With the ATA Carnet Swiss and foreign customs formalities are completed using one form. The ATA Carnet can be obtained from Chambers of Commerce and Industry and releases the holder from any obligation to provide a guarantee when crossing the border.


The ATA Carnet may be used for several border crossings and is valid for one year. Instead of national customs documents, the ATA Carnet can be used for imports, exports and transits purposes. The advantage is the swift passage through customs. The ATA Carnet has a uniform appearance for all contracting parties to the Convention on Temporary Admission of 26 June 1990 (the so-called Istanbul Convention). It can be used in more than 60 countries.


When opening the ATA Carnet, the complete description of the goods must be (cover sheet reverse) present. For the holder of the ATA Carnet, it is always possible to bring the goods back into the domestic customs territory.


The use of the Carnet ATA is applied to durable goods but not to nondurable goods. The most important areas of application of the ATA Carnet are as follows:


  • Goods for display or use at exhibitions and fairs
  • Professional equipment
  • Commercial samples for display purposes (watches, jewellery, clothes, etc.)
  • Sports equipment

However, this scope of application is interpreted differently in the individual contracting parties. For example in Switzerland the use of an ATA Carnet is not possible in the case of rental business.