Improvement of the ATA Carnet Validation

 According to an Office of Field Operations report,a CBP Muster Topic issued in October 2011 now permits  a carnet to be  validated at any port of exit. Prior to this,  a U.S. carnet user was expected to get the carnet validated AND produce the cargo for inspection at the last of exit from the US.  This presented challenges to shippers if they were not physically at the same port of exit as the cargo.

While CBP Directive 3280-013B does not state that a carnet can only be validated at the last port of exit, that has been the interpretation at many ports. CBP Muster Topic #CCS-FY12-0031 clarifies the Directive and makes it clear that the last port of exit can also be the last port where the user will have control of the goods. As long as the goods are in a secure supply chain where the user cannot get access to them, the last port of exit can be the port where the user is separated from the goods until both arrive in a foreign country. According to the U.S. national guaranteeing association for ATA Carnets, this muster applies to both hand-carried goods and shipped cargo.

The ATA Carnet is an international Customs document that a traveler may use temporarily to import certain goods into a country without having to engage in the Customs formalities usually required for the importation of goods, and without having to pay duty or value-added taxes on the goods.

If you have questions about using or obtaining an ATA carnet, please contact us at or at 973-779-5900.