Everything You Need to Know About an ATA Carnet
When you are traveling in and out of a country, you need a passport to ensure to the foreign nation that your identity is valid and that you are a real citizen of that native land. If you have ever gone on a vacation or taken a business meeting somewhere around the globe, you will be familiar with the international requirements.
The same concept applies to shipping goods halfway across the planet for a trade show or exhibition. You need permission granted that the goods are valid and being delivered and approved for the venture stated, as you would for any business that crosses national borders.
Goods are typically taxed in harsh amounts when being shipped from one country to another, so it is imperative that you get approval for an ATA carnet if you are going to be doing perpetual business with foreign business providers for your trade show or similar event.
Pros of ATA Carnets
Anyone who works within the business world is aware of how many products are exported out for production or manufacturing to find cheaper labor and value outside of the host country of residence.
When you are going to have large non-consumables or edibles on display at your show and they were originally made in a foreign country, having an ATA carnet will help you avoid the large sums of money that will be sent on taxing the products when they are shipped over to your locality.
An ATA carnet usually can be approved for six months up to a year at a time, which will help you avoid having to re-up the agreement every time you work with foreign manufacturers.
Cons of ATA Carnets
This doesn’t mean there aren’t still problems shipping products internationally for trade shows. So many of these booths are purposed to display consumable products. Food, drinks, products used on the body like soaps, lotions, toothpastes, and more are all situated under the consumable umbrella and are therefore not eligible to be shipped under the ATA carnet that you have taken out.
You will have to live with the extra tax costs of these exports but shipping in smaller quantities can give you tax breaks and save your business a good amount of cash in the long run.
If you don’t think that an ATA carnet is right for your business for some reason or another, you should weigh the pros and cons of skipping out on one like you would any other decision as it relates to costs and profits in a business.
Which Option is Better for Me?
Maybe your booth is going to be completely made up of international products being exhibited. If you are still worried about the cost of taxing international goods, consider moving your show overseas to the country in which the products are manufactured.
You would then need to compare the price of bringing employees, booth visuals, hotel, and airfare, etc., with the price of taxing the products to ship them to you if the show is done locally.
Overall, though, an ATA carnet will solve most financial issues you are having with shipping goods for a trade show. They are easy to apply for online or in person and they are usually approved within a day or two of application. You can then rest assured that you won’t lose thousands of dollars in tax bills or must contemplate alternative ways of saving money in other aspects of your business to make up for losses.
Just make sure that the country you are shipping from is one of the numerous ones that approve ATA carnets; there is the occasional place that isn’t in the carnet loop!