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How do I apply for an ATA Carnet?

Last updated on July 6th, 2016

Obtaining your ATA Carnet is really easy! If you already work with a freight forwarder or a Customs House Broker they can provide you with your ATA Carnet even if you decide to hand carry the goods yourself. Or you can obtain an ATA Carnet directly from us, by using our fast and easy CarnetsOnline™ application system.

First step please register for a user name and password by completing our registration form. Upon receiving your login credentials you can begin your application.

Information Needed to Apply

  1. Holder Information

This is the information of the entity ultimately liable and responsible for the goods and any potential duties and taxes if the goods were to remain in the foreign country.

  1. Authorized representative

This is a list of all companies and/or persons who are authorized by the holder to present the ATA Carnet for customs clearance. Please keep in mind that some countries (i.e. Turkey, Japan, Russia to name a few) require that the actual person clearing customs be listed on the ATA Carnet. But most countries will accept a Customs Power of Attorney, or an ATA Carnet Power of Attorney or a letter on the holder’s letter head authorizing additional companies or persons to present the ATA Carnet for customs clearance.

  1. General List

The General List refers to the list of goods that will be traveling on the ATA Carnet. Despite the title this list needs to be as clearly described as possible, this includes all and any unique identifying characteristics. For example serial numbers, model numbers, measurements, contents, fabric, colors, country of origin, and weight. You can enter the items individually in the online application or you could upload an excel file containing the list.

The Excel file needs to be formatted as follows and saved as a .CSV file. The columns need to be completed as noted below but without column headings. Column A is line item number, Column B is the detailed description, Column C is the quantity of the item, Column D is the weight, Column E is the total value of the item/items the amount is a number without the currency symbol or commas, and finally Column F is the country of origin of where the goods were manufactured.


  1. Countries to visit

We request at time of application the countries you are planning on travelling to with your ATA Carnet. This helps us provide you with the latest information and any country specific formalities that you will need to comply with for your ATA Carnet shipment. However, the ATA Carnet itself is not country specific. What this means is if you select Japan at time of application and your Japan trip gets cancelled but another opportunity arises to take the same goods to say Canada you can simply grab your ATA Carnet and go without having to request additional counterfoils for Canada. Make sure to check the country details for any ATA Carnet specific requirements or formalities.

  1. Form of security

Concurrent with the issuance of an ATA Carnet, the holder must provide security to the guaranteeing association in the United States, the United States Council for International Business (USCIB). The USCIB typically requires a bond or cash equivalent of 40% of the total value of the General List. Security requirements for vehicles and boats are typically 100% for corporations and 150% for individuals.

The simplest way to provide security and avoid tying up your funds for up to 30 months is to obtain an ATA Carnet Bond from Roanoke Trade. This reduces the time needed to process your ATA Carnet since it is possible for all information to be supplied during the ATA Carnet application process, ensuring quick and reliable processing. Merely select “Bond Process with Carnet” when completing your online application.

Bonds provided as a guarantee must be authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department, admitted in the State of New York, have an A.M. Best rating of A- or higher and be written in the language required by the USCIB.

Cash deposits are another option to post the security requirement, but keep in mind that the cash is not released for 4 to 6 weeks after the ATA Carnet is returned and closed. If the ATA Carnet cannot be closed then these monies may be held for up to 30 months during a claims process.

  1. Power of Attorney

If you are obtaining an ATA Carnet on behalf of your customer then a Customs Power of Attorney or an ATA Carnet power of attorney must be signed and submitted to Roanoke Trade. The power of attorney allows you to sign the ATA Carnet(s) and ATA Carnet bond(s) on behalf of your customer. Without the power of attorney, the processing of the Carnet will be delayed in order to obtain signatures from authorized individuals within the organization. Note that only one power of attorney is necessary per organization, regardless of the number of Carnets you need. Some exceptions may apply.

  1. Insurance

Roanoke Trade offers an enhanced ATA Carnet Cargo Insurance program to insure your goods for the entire duration of your ATA Carnet. The policy is designed to cover losses not typically covered under a standard transit policy. Features of this policy include “All Risk” coverage for New and Used goods, including transit to and from a Foreign ATA Carnet member country. Coverage continues while the merchandise is in these countries and provides duty reimbursement in the event goods are lost or stolen. The policy also covers goods checked as luggage or hand-carried on a commercial airline. The deductible for Roanoke Trade’s policy is 1% of the General List value with a $50 minimum.

Roanoke Trade specializes in insurance for the international trade community and understands the unique exposures exporters’ face when moving goods on an ATA Carnet—this is why the ATA Carnet Cargo Insurance program works so well for our ATA Carnet clients. Comprehensive, flexible, responsive coverage and service are offered at a competitive price.

  1. Fees

The value of the shipment (that is, the items on the General List) determines the cost of the ATA Carnet, the ATA Carnet bond and ATA Carnet Cargo insurance. The ATA Carnet basic fees are set by the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB). While CarnetsOnline™ will calculate the costs for you, the ATA Carnet Fee and Premium Schedule can be found here.

All fees and premiums must be pre-paid, unless otherwise arranged with your ATA Carnet Service Team. For more details please contact us at 1.800.Carnets (1.800.227.6387) or by email at