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Using ATA Carnets for Personal Vehicles - What You Need to Know and When You Can Use It

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

ATA Carnets can be issued for personal vehicles driven / transported by the owner - provided that the vehicle is going to be used in a professional or commercial capacity at the destination (i.e., racing, exhibition etc).

Vehicles (including motorbikes) must declare the chassis and engine number as well as make on the carnet list.

ATA Carnets can cover vehicles for the following uses:

1. “Trade Fairs and Exhibitions” - in this case the Holder will need to provide Greater Manchester Chamber with a copy of the Exhibitor Permit confirming that the vehicle will be exhibited at the specific event.

2. “Racing vehicles or race support vehicles” - vehicles for racing, test driving or support i.e., breakdown trucks supporting an official racing event. In this case the Holder will need to provide GM Chamber with a written confirmation (i.e., copy of the Race Participation Certificate) or a letter from the race organisers showing that the Holder is taking part in a race or providing support vehicles for the race. Racing vehicles can be driven or transported to the event by the owner or the haulier. Such vehicles would usually be used on a dedicated racetrack or on the roads closed to public.

3. “Professional Equipment” – vehicles to be used as part of the movie set, training vehicles, prototypes for research and development, vehicles fitted with specialized equipment (i.e., broadcasting vans, exhibition trailers, water filter trucks etc. Equipment built into specially adapted vehicles must also be listed on a Carnet). Note that any such vehicles can be used on open roads provided that they are registered in the UK, have a valid MOT and insurance certificate.

Note – ATA Carnets are not required for vehicles used exclusively as means of transport i.e., personal vehicle being driven by the owner; holiday motorhome driven by the owner etc.

In cases where the vehicle owner is transporting another vehicle to be used for any of the above listed commercial or professional activities, then an ATA Carnet can be issued for the transported vehicle.

Be mindful that even if the vehicle is towed privately, it may still require GMR and a Carnet if the driver has to use the freight route at the port – as the freight channels can only be accessed with a GMR that has a declaration or Carnet registered against it.

To learn more about ATA Carnets the Chamber is holding an ATA Carnet step by step workshop on the 25 October which is designed for beginners or experienced users looking to refresh their knowledge.

Need further advice on EUR1s COO, documentation, customs clearance or other? 

If you have any questions about the above or would like support in your international trade journey, please email or call 0161 393 4314. 

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