Transporting equipment and goods through Europe

Posted by on Mar 15, 2023 in Blog

If you ever need to transport equipment & goods through Europe, then there are some things you need to know. One of which is the production of a Carnet.

Legal Requirement

We’re lucky enough to deliver events in Europe. We won’t lie, a pizza in Rome, or a Schnitzel in Berlin is rather enjoyable, but the post-Brexit world does throw up a few challenges.

Transporting equipment out of the UK and into Europe is now classed as exporting/importing goods. These new rules require you to apply for an official exportation document called an ATA Carnet. It’s basically a list of all equipment you’ll be transporting. In our case, lighting, sound and projection equipment. Without it, you won’t get past customs!

How to produce a Carnet

  1. 1. An itemised list of every piece of equipment you are taking has to be sent to the London Chamber of Commerce, via their website (or your local Chamber may be able to help). All equipment descriptions have to include the make, model, serial number, weight, value, and location of manufacture.
  2. 2. Once accepted by the Chamber of Commerce they will send you a formal ATA Carnet document. The Carnet is valid for a year.
  3. 3. All equipment then must be individually numbered to match the ATA Carnet numbering system. For example, if the carnet says ‘No.64 – Projector’ the projector must have a No.64 clearly marked on it, and so on, and so on….
  4. 4. Once the kit is numbered, loaded on the truck, and on the road, the driver must show the Carnet at an inland Border Facility near to your port of exit to get it stamped. On disembarkation you show the Carnet to the local customs office and get it stamped again!
  5. 5. Once cleared for export, you’re off into Europe!
  6. 6. On the return journey you show the Carnet in your port of exit customs office, get it stamped, cross the water and then take it back to the Inland Boarder Facility to get it stamped for a final time. This ensures what you took out, you brought back.
  7. 7. The final part of the process is to return the double-stamped Carnet to The Chamber of Commerce.

Job Done

Aaaand relax. European event done! 😅

We won’t lie, producing a Carnet is a bit of an effort, especially when you have to individually itemise three tonnes of AV kit! It is very time consuming, but it has to be done. And it’s a small effort for our AV crew to enjoy that tasty Pizza in Rome. Bellissimo! 🍕

So the next time you move goods into Europe, make sure you produce an ATA Carnet.

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