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A Carnet For Your Travels

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 27 July 2004 00:00

Canadian businesses may find Kitchener , a cosmopolitan community located in the largely agricultural Region of Waterloo, an ideal headquarters for their international travels now that an ATA or Admission temporaire/Temporary Admission Carnet office has opened in this southwestern Ontario city.

Exporting goods temporarily from Canada will be more convenient now that the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce office has been authorized by the Canadian Chamber , the national guaranteeing association, to issue ATA Carnets against security deposits. Previously, ATA Carnets were issued only in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Next to a passport, an ATA Carnet is the most important document a business traveller can carry: since it can make border crossings easier and more efficient while it saves time and money. Often called a "merchandise passport," an ATA Carnet is an internationally recognized trade document that allows companies to import goods temporarily, free of duty and taxes.

Large corporations, small companies and individuals, home-based or not, can all benefit. The ATA Carnet service is available to travelling business executives, salespeople, overseas exhibitors and professionals such as film crews, architects, artists, engineers, surgeons, entertainers, photographers and sports teams travelling with valuable instruments, plans and supplies. The ATA Carnet enables exporters and business travellers to take important sales items, such as trade show/exhibition booths, commercial samples and professional equipment, into more than 59 countries without unnecessary delays.

The benefits of obtaining an ATA Carnet include elimination of paying duties and taxes when entering a country and claiming refunds when leaving. As well, the carnet holder uses a single document for customs transactions and completes the paperwork before leaving Canada. Travellers avoid hassles with extra costs, language barriers, foreign currencies and forms. This documentation allows a traveller to make an unlimited number of trips within a one-year period.

The main requirement is simply that what goes in must come out: the goods must not be sold, given away or otherwise disposed of while in the foreign country. For this reason, disposable or consumable items that will be used or handed out while in the foreign country, such as brochures, cleaning materials or feed for horses, cannot be covered by carnets.

Over the last 35 years, the carnet system has spread from just a few Western European countries to most of the industrialized world, including a growing number of developing nations. Now the southwestern community of Kitchener has joined this international business community.

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