Save $100 on Carnet applications

The United States Council for International Business (USCIB) offers software and assistance from a 15-year Carnet veteran to help jewelers learn how to easily point and click their way through the Carnet application.

Those who have to transport jewelry to trade shows can now apply for an ATA Carnet (a tax-free, duty free passport for your samples) by using custom-designed software. The USCIB says that those who use the software can save up to $100. It can be shipped within 24 hours.

Known as the “Merchandise Passport,” an ATA Carnet lets jewelers list all their trade show samples on one document for quick approval by customs. The Carnet also allows a million-dollar necklace to travel to Europe for Madonna’s approval or a complete collection to circulate to Japanese retailers for an entire year without paying a single Yen in tax or duty.

Fees for paper applications range from $120 to $250, with a $100 surcharge for expedited service. Using the new electronically transmitted application, processing fees are $200 or $250, but next-day service is included in the basic fee. Additional charges may be incurred in providing a security deposit or same-day service. The software was designed for use by freight forwarders specializing in jewelry as well as direct customers.

Last year, Carnets allowed more than $3.3 billion in U.S. goods, much of it jewelry, to enter and exit 75 countries without depositing duty or value-added taxes, according to the USCIB. Items traveling on a Carnet must return to the U.S. within 12 months or face penalties from foreign customs.

U.S. Customs representative Tom Heffernan welcomes the improvement in the application process and encourages manufacturers to identify jewelry pieces with clear descriptions, the USCIB says. Such descriptions should enable inspectors (both U.S and foreign) to more quickly process the Carnet. Mr. Heffernan further notes that some customs administrations (U.K., Switzerland, and Italy) are now encouraging the use of photos for incoming jewelry items.

To learn more about Carnets, call toll-free (866) 786-5625, or visit

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