Are you thinking about carrying out an audio visual shooting in the Canary Islands but you don’t know how to transport all of your professional materials from your country of origin? In this case, you’d be interested in knowing everything about the ATA Carnet, an alternative that facilitates the movement of goods among those countries included in the Istanbul Convention, including Spain, which will help you to avoid delays due to bureaucratic procedures. In this post, we will tell you everything you need to know about it. Keep on reading!

What is the ATA Carnet?

The ATA Carnet is an international customs and temporary export-import document which allows you to move goods without paying duties or import taxes during the course of a year. This document can be used by shippers, companies or professionals who are going to work abroad, self-employed or employed by others and who need to transport goods or equipment to other countries, as in the case of audio visual production companies who wish to film in the Canary Islands.

Almost any type of merchandise can be transported with an ATA Carnet: computers, tools, photography materials, filming materials, musical instruments, industrial machinery, vehicles and sound systems, among others. In other words, any merchandise which is non-perishable, consumable or materials to be transformed into other articles.

How does the ATA Carnet work?

carnet ata

The main advantage of obtaining an ATA Carnet is the comfort of moving your merchandise without wait or unforeseen factors in customs. With just one document you will be able to transport your materials among the different territories which are subject to customs without having to manage specific documentation for temporary exportation and importation for each country. With this document, which facilitates temporary imports and exports into foreign countries, you will be able to enter and leave the territory without difficulties.

ATA Carnets offer some advantages which deserve a special mention:

  • The elimination of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and customs rights.
  • The owners of the Carnet won’t have to provide a customs’ security deposit for each country. With this document the deposit is unique, regardless of the number of countries to visit. This way, you can manage customs’ formalities upfront and with a pre-fixed cost.
  • Carnets simplify the customs’ process avoiding bureaucratic procedures. Thus, the importers and exporters will use a unique document for all the customs’ formalities within a wide range or countries.
  • The ATA Carnet can be used for various trips during the course of a year and ensures the return of all the materials and merchandise to their countries of origin without delays.

Despite all these advantages, the ATA Carnet involves a time investment to process all of the required documentation which does not include the costs for transport, that is why we highly recommend the alternative of renting audio visual materials from a local service production company. This can save you time and money and you will count on the technical support and professional backup from locals to face any difficulties during your stay in the Canary Islands. Thus, you could carry out your audio visual production with the same quality and commodity from your country of origin and without the troubles and cost overrun derived from the transportation of materials.

How can I obtain an ATA Carnet?

cuaderno ata mercancias

The ATA Carnet can be obtained through an application form that must be completed and issued to the Spanish Chamber of Commerce. The Carnet will be issued within 48 hours after the Chamber has received the documentation from the production company, although there is also an option for urgent procedures which costs 99€ + IGIC.

The following documentation is required:

  • The application form for the ATA Carnet + List of merchandise (4 copies signed and sealed).
  • ATA Insurance cover application, if chosen (2 copies signed and sealed).

The emission fee for this document will be of 165€, and the ATA insurance cost can be added (optionally). Also, in order for the Carnet to be issued, a guarantee fee must be paid to ensure the payment for importation rights in the country/territory of temporal admission, this fee will be returned by the Chamber of Commerce if submitted the ATA Carnet. The guarantee fee will depend on the destiny, from 25% up to 100% of the value of the merchandise to import.

In the Canary Islands, the guarantee fee is the lowest in Spain, just 25% of the value of the merchandise, this applies to Carnets used to travel to the Canary Islands Autonomous Community and also to those Carnets issued by the Canary Islands Chamber of Commerce and used to travel to other places in Spain.

In order for the guarantee to be valid, you can choose one of the following options:

  • Option 1: To submit a bank guarantee or bank account deposit for the amount that corresponds to the value of the merchandise. This figure will be returned once the ATA Carnet has been returned to the issuing Chamber.
  • Option 2: To hire a Global Insurance (AXA Insurance). This formula allows the insurance company National Suisse to guarantee the import rights in the name of the applicant. The cost is 0.75% of the value of the merchandise + taxes 0.25% + IGIC, the minimum cost cannot be less than 30€. Also, if you choose this option, you will have to send the application form of the Carnet, together with the insurance application to the Chamber of Commerce as soon as possible.
  • Option 3: To make a cash deposit for the amount corresponding to the percentage over the value of the merchandise.

In Spain, the ATA Carnet is valid in the entire customs territory which corresponds to the continental area, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla. In
order to be accepted in customs, the Carnet must be completed in Spanish, if it is in a different language, customs might require a translation. However, Carnets in English, French or Portuguese don’t usually cause any problems. Finally, with regards to reception points, all of the customs’ offices in Spain are authorized to accept ATA Carnets within their official opening hours.

For more information, you can visit www.atacarnets.org. This page is linked to the International Chamber of Commerce where you will find more details and contact numbers of the issuing organizations of Carnets in all of the countries which are members of the ATA Carnet system.