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India Now Accepts Professional Equipment via an ATA Carnet

Great news for the US export community: India has made a policy shift around the use of ATA Carnets!

On January 18th, India began accepting ATA Carnets for the temporary import of professional equipment. Since 1990, India has only accepted ATA Carnets for goods being temporarily imported for approved trade shows, as well as fairs and exhibitions. India has expanded the scope of the ATA Carnet acceptance to include temporary importation of professional equipment, making it easier for businesses to access the Indian market.

“This is an important development that will help boost U.S. exports to India, and make it much easier for business travelers to get essential professional equipment in and out of the country,” said Andrew Shiles, USCIB’s senior vice president of ATA Carnet. “All sorts of people and companies – from news organizations to symphony orchestras to technicians making repairs – use ATA Carnets to move professional equipment around the world swiftly and cost-effectively.”

Considerations must be made for all policy changes, and this change to India’s ATA Carnet acceptance is no exception. Prior to this change, India accepted ATA Carnets under a more limited basis – only allowing goods under temporary importation for fairs and exhibitions, and those goods were limited to a maximum period of six months in the country. While India has expanded the scope of the ATA Carnet acceptance to include temporary importation of professional equipment, they will limit the duty-free and tax-free entry to two months. They will consider the possibility of renewing the ATA Carnet entry for an additional two months upon request to the port of entry. This restricted date will be noted on the importation counterfoil in box 2 as the final date for re-exportation. It is imperative, as with any ATA Carnet shipment, that you verify these notations at time of entry. This way you can ensure that you comply with any restrictions or special requirements and avoid the possibility of an unnecessary claim.

ATA Carnet is considered the gold-standard in temporary importation. It is an international customs document that provides duty and tax-free customs clearance for temporary imports into foreign countries. ATA Carnet simplifies the entry by eliminating the need to post some form of financial guarantee, i.e., a Temporary Import Bond. ATA Carnets are recognized in over 100 destinations for virtually all types of goods, whether hand-carried or cargo-shipped. The ATA Carnet doesn’t only reduce costs; it also facilitates customs clearance in both the U.S. and foreign countries, and it is valid on multiple trips for up to one year.

At Roanoke Trade, we understand that your ATA Carnet situation is unique, and we can tailor an ATA Carnet program specific to your needs. Contact your ATA Carnet Help Desk today: 1.800.Carnets (1.800.227.6387) or

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