Guide to submitting a permanent Import in the UK for goods under ATA Carnet status

International trade regulations are complex, especialy when it comes to converting the temporary admission of goods into permanent imports in the UK. Businesses utilizing ATA Carnets for temporary imports often find themselves needing to make these goods a lasting part of their UK operations. This article outlines a straightforward process to transition from a temporary ATA Carnet import status to a permanent import in the UK.


What is an ATA Carnet?

An ATA Carnet acts as a passport for goods, allowing temporary entry into participating countries without the need to pay duties and import taxes. Typically used for items such as trade samples, professional equipment, or goods for exhibitions, the ATA Carnet simplifies the temporary import process.


When and Why Convert to a Permanent Import?


Converting to a permanent import might be strategic if the goods prove esential for ongoing operations or if economic condtions suggest a more permanent utility in the UK.However, this transition requires careful consideration of the UK's customs regulations.


Procedure for Permanent Importation into the UK of goods under ATA Carnet

  1. Carnet Submission: Initially, you need to send us your ATA Carnet so we can initiate the conversion process.
  2. Customs Invoice: The EU exporter must issue a customs invoice to the GB importer. We recommend confirming whether an export declaration is necessary with a customs broker.
  3. Authorisation: The GB importer must authorize us to handle the import. This is done through a simple online form available on our website Bright Customs POA.
  4. UK Import Declaration: Our team will prepare and submit the UK import declaration on your behalf.
  5. Payment of Duties: Duties and VAT applicable to the goods must be paid as part of the import process.
  6. Validation with UK Customs: We handle the validation of the GB permanent import and the ATA Carnet with UK customs, ensuring compliance.
  7. Documentation Return: After successful validation, we return the ATA Carnet and the GB import declaration, marked with taxes paid, to you.
  8. Final Steps in country of origin: Carnet must be validated by Customs in country of origin.
  9. Carnet Closure: Finally, send back the Carnet and all related documentation to the issuing body to officially close out the Carnet.

While the process is streamlined, challenges such as customs delays or discrepancies in documentation can occur. Ensuring accurate paperwork and clear communication with a customs broker will mitigate potential setbacks.


Permanently importing goods that were initially under an ATA Carnet is a significant decision that can affect your business operational capabilities and financial planning. By understanding and following the correct procedures, businesses can effectively manage this transition, enhancing their operational capacity in the UK.


For more detailed guidance or to start this process, visit Bright Customs or contact our expert team who are ready to assist you every step of the way.

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