To Carnet or not to Carnet?

Sandra Desouza
By Sandra Desouza
| 28th March 2017

The World Chambers Federation of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) announced that Brazil began accepting carnets as of June, 28th 2016. Brazil is the 86th country to join the ATA Carnet system and is only the third Latin American member country after Chile and Mexico.

As it stands Brazil accepts ATA Carnets for temporary import of goods for display or use at exhibitions, fairs, meetings, or similar events, and for professional equipment. However currently, Brazil does not accept ATA Carnets for commercial samples.

As Brazil implements ATA Carnet acceptance, to facilitate temporary imports, there is some concern that the authorities may not be entirely ready for the volume of Carnets and temporary imports that are anticipated.

Our Brazilian agent, based in Rio de Janeiro, was asked about the status in Brazil and the consensus was that they acknowledged acceptance of the carnet, but were realistic that the implementation of the Carnet is still in its infancy stages. “This system should be fully operational however, customs officers face challenges with the implementation process, translation barriers, limited training and exposure to Brazilian legislation to support usage. Despite the Carnet system being a working practice, the reality is Brazil is not yet fully prepared, until customs officers become familiar with this process they would prefer to avoid handling consignments under Carnet.”

Initial acceptance of Carnets is only available through Two Brazilian cities: the seaports and airports of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. More ports will be added at a later stage and Brazil will start accepting carnets before they begin to issue them.

Premier Showfreight’s Carnet Manager advises “Certain ATA Carnet users have reported problems with using Carnets in Brazil especially when transiting from one state to another. Carnet issuance is limited to the States of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo only, and avoiding the use of internal transit between states is advised, only freighted goods can be taken to Brazil, hand carried goods will not be admitted and Brazilian Customs still require an Airway Bill or Bill of Lading with the Carnet for customs clearance.”

So the question still remains whether to Carnet or not to Carnet? With time, training, support and exposure, the use of carnets in Brazil should prove to be a valuable process to assist and facilitate temporary importation of exhibition and event shipments. However, even though Brazil does subscribe to the ATA Carnet system there are difficulties and certain limitations with acceptance of carnets, so, until these challenges are resolved, we do not recommend despatching goods under ATA Carnet to Brazil.

Contact Premier Showfreight if you require assistance with exporting goods to Brazil for an event, exhibition, or private demonstration.

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