ATA carnets – simplified and temporary admission/export procedures

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An ATA (admission temporaire / temporary admission) form is an international customs document, which allows the temporary import and export of goods intended to be used and then re-exported unaltered (without having undergone any changes) within the European Union (EU), with:

  • a minimum of formalities required at Customs;
  • no need to put down deposits to cover the duties and taxes applicable at the borders of each State the goods pass through.

The ATA is an optional tool, not a requirement. It is still possible to import and export goods temporarily by the conventional method (using the same procedure as for countries which are not covered by the ATA Convention). The procedures and security deposits differ from one country to another, so information must be sought from the customs authorities in the country in question.

Luxembourg businesses can request their ATA carnet from the House of Entrepreneurship.

Who is concerned?

ATA carnets are for persons who wish to temporarily export or import goods and subsequently re-export said goods, such as:

  • equipment used for a fair, an exhibition or other similar event;
  • samples to show to potential customers;
  • professional equipment to be used for a predetermined period only;
  • live animals within the framework of training, breeding, veterinary care or competitions.

The ATA carnet does not cover:

  • perishables;
  • consumables;
  • goods for processing and alteration;
  • goods for repair purposes.

The purpose is for the goods to be reimported, at a later date, in the same condition as they were in when originally exported.


The ATA carnet can only be used when transporting goods between the various signatory countries to the ATA Convention.


The cost of an ATA carnet depends on the value of the goods.

How to proceed

Filing an application

In principle, an ATA carnet should be issued in the country from which the goods originate. Thus, if they are being exported from Luxembourg, the Luxembourg business needs to apply to the House of Entrepreneurship for an ATA carnet.

They must apply for an ATA carnet online, via This website allows users to:

  • fill in their application for an ATA carnet, by providing the following details:
    • details of the carnet holder, and of its user (a designated person or any appointed agent);
    • the type of goods in question;
    • the total value of the goods in EUR;
    • the country/countries to which the goods are being sent, and potentially the number of trips involved;
  • file the application with the Chamber of Commerce of their choice.


The Chamber of Commerce will check whether the application is in order.

If so, it:

  • applies for coverage of the ATA carnet (if such coverage is denied, the company must provide a security deposit to the Chamber of Commerce, or take steps to obtain insurance through a different channel);
  • approves the application and prints the carnet.

The ATA carnet is then sent to the applicant by post, or else the applicant can come in person to the House of Entrepreneurship to collect it.

Use of ATA carnets

The uses covered by an ATA carnet may differ from one country to another. If in doubt, the best course of action is to contact the relevant Chamber of Commerce.

Before their temporary export, the user must present the items and ATA carnet to the customs office in the country of departure.

During their journey, the transporter must present the ATA carnet at each customs office.

The customs authorities of each country passed detach the corresponding voucher and stamp the counterfoil corresponding to each stage of the journey:

  • the counterfoil and detachable yellow vouchers for each export outside the EU and each subsequent reimport into the EU;
  • the counterfoil and detachable white vouchers for each import into the country of temporary admission and each subsequent re-export outside said country;
  • the counterfoil and detachable blue vouchers for each entry into a transit country and each subsequent exit.

N.B. The goods must not be altered in any way, or repaired.

Also, the carnet offers temporary admission for the goods. Consequently, they must be re-exported at most one year after import. Customs authorities may decide to apply a shorter window.

Validity of the ATA carnet

The ATA carnet is valid for 1 year minus 1 day as from its date of issue.

If the goods cannot be reimported before an ATA carnet expires, then notify the issuing Chamber of Commerce, which will be able to issue a replacement carnet in accordance with the applicable conditions in the export country.

End of use of the ATA carnet

When the company no longer has need of the ATA carnet or the carnet expires, it must be returned, in its original copy, to the House of Entrepreneurship. The House of Entrepreneurship will check that:

  • all the counterfoils have been stamped as appropriate;
  • the goods have indeed been returned to the territory of the EU.

If, for a specific journey, the re-export, reimport or transit counterfoils have not been stamped, then the business must present the goods at the nearest customs office. The customs office will then fill out the declaration on the spot. However, there is no obligation on national authorities to accept such a certificate as proof of reimport.


If the customs authorities for import or transit do not believe appropriate use is being made of the ATA carnet, they are entitled to demand payment of:

  • import duty;
  • taxes or an adjustment tax;
  • potentially, late payment interest.

Example: if reimport can be proven, but not re-export.

Loss of an ATA carnet

If the carnet is lost while in use, notify the issuing Chamber of Commerce, which can issue a duplicate in accordance with the applicable conditions in the export country in question.

Who to contact

Documents d’exportation et certificats LuxTrust

Related procedures and links


Further information

Legal references

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