The ATA Carnet is an international customs document. It is used for the temporary importation, exportation and transit of goods. The customs formalities for Switzerland and foreign countries can be completed with this customs document. When crossing the border, you do not need to request a national customs document, nor do you need to provide the customs authorities with a surety.
ATA Carnets can be obtained from chambers of commerce and industry. Security for the applicable import duties is provided to the issuing body. A Carnet is valid for one year.
In Switzerland, the Chambers of Commerce and Industry provide information on the conditions for receiving a Carnet (see SME Portal: Addresses Chambres of commerce).
The ATA Carnet can be used for multiple border crossings. The holder of the ATA Carnet always has the possibility of bringing all or only some of the goods into Switzerland or back abroad.
You can use the ATA Carnet primarily for:
- Goods that you wish to present at an official exhibition.
- Commercial samples for display purposes or taking orders (watches, jewellery, clothes, shoes etc.).
- Professional equipment under the Istanbul Convention. For this to apply, your place of residence must be abroad and you must personally bring the goods into Switzerland and use them.
In the following cases, however, you must use a Customs declaration for temporary admission ZAVV. The ATA Carnet cannot be used.
- Goods which are the object of a rental agreement with a person who is resident or domiciled in Switzerland;
- Goods for uncertain sale;
- Machines and appliances:
- - for civil engineering and construction;
- - for agriculture and forestry;
- - for the professional manufacturing of other goods (e.g. industrial machinery for manufacturing jam, electronic parts, etc.);
- - for packaging goods (automated machinery for packaging of foodstuffs, bottling beverages, etc.);
- - for exploiting natural resources (drilling rigs and machinery for locating water and petrol in the ground, etc.).
Further information on the ATA Carnet can be found in paragraph 4.12 of Directive 10-60 (temporary admission procedure) (PDF, 801 kB, 01.03.2023).