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ATA Carnet Update – Carrying Musical Instruments to the EU or Switzerland

Travellers to and from the European Union and Switzerland may now temporarily import/export musicals instruments for the purpose of performing at an event or a concert without the need to complete any customs formalities such as providing an ATA Carnet. This does not apply to instruments which are going to be used for purposes other than the above.

In the case of the European Union, this also applies to accessories such as microphones and/or amplifiers as long as they are carried together with the musical instruments.

Travellers should use the “nothing to declare” lane on arrival and can refer back to the official regulations for the EU here and Switzerland here. It is recommended musicians carry copies of their engagement contracts and proof of ownership of instruments.

Please note this only applies to musical instruments being hand-carried. For Freight forwarders or transport companies transporting it as freight, the use of an ATA Carnet is recommended.

If the above does not apply to you and you need an ATA Carnet, the Chamber can help! An ATA Carnet is an international customs documents which allows the temporary importation of goods without having to pay duty and/or VAT and complete customs clearance. They act as a “passport” for your goods and can be quite complex documents.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your customs requirements, please contact our team of experts at or call 0161 393 4314.

We are also running a dedicated workshop on how to apply and manage ATA Carnets on 8th June 2023, for more information and to register, please see here.

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