A. General Information

1. Title


2. Status of the project
3. Implementation period of the project/service:
5. Geographical coverage
Participating countries: Belgium, Canada, China, Germany, Norway, Russian Federation, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
6. Participating agencies/entities of the project/service:
a. Development stage
Lead agencies/entities
International Chamber Of Commerce
Other participating agencies/entities
Customs Administrations of Pilot Project
b. Operational stage
Lead agencies/entities (op)
Other participating agencies/entities (op)
7. Main stakeholders/beneficiaries of the project
Traders (big enterprises)
Traders (SMEs)
Customs brokers
8. Business process category of the project
Forwarding and cargo handling
Regulatory/official control

B. Lessons Learned

9. Summary description of the project/service
Brief Summary

The World Chambers Federation of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC WCF) has announced the seven countries selected or targeted to participate in a pilot project to digitalize the ATA Carnet, a customs document allowing duty- and tax-free movement of goods for up to one year.

a. Objective(s)

ATA Carnets cover almost everything, as defined in 11 annexes to the Istanbul Convention. ATA Carnets are mainly issued to cover:

goods for use at trade fairs, shows, exhibitions

professional equipment

commercial samples

personal effects and goods for sports purposes

Customs authorities accept ATA Carnets in accordance with the scope of application that they ratified. The goods must not go through any changes while situated in the country of temporary importation. ATA Carnets do not cover perishable or consumable items, goods for processing or repair, or certain means of transportation defined under Annex C of the Istanbul Convention.

Endorsed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) earlier this year and back by more than 15 nations and the European Union (EU), the Mercury II pilot project is set to test a real-time ATA Carnet lifecycle management system proposed by ICC WCF. 

b. Business need for the project (background)

The eATA Carnet project aims to digitalise ATA Carnets and their lifecycle management process – from issuance and declarations to transactions and claims.

ICC first developed its eATA concept in 2016. With the support of the World Customs Organization, a pilot project was launched to move from academic research to development and implementation. A brand-new ATA Carnet system has now been developed, comprising various digital tools tailored for a range of stakeholders.

These eATA tools include:

A smartphone application, the ATA Carnet app, enabling Carnet holders to carry and declare digital versions of their customs documents

The ATA Carnet Customs Portal, enabling customs officers to verify Carnets and approve digitally declared transactions.

c. Business process covered*
d. Overall architecture and functionalities*

How the eATA system works

When a Carnet is being issued, holders will also obtain a digital ATA Carnet, generated from the National Issuing and Claims Systems (NICS), which is run by a National Guaranteeing Association (NGA).

The holder then downloads the ordered Carnet into his or her smartphone wallet using ICC’s ATA Carnet app. If necessary, they can share it with his or her customs representative. For security purposes, the Carnet is encrypted and never transmitted in ‘open format’ on the network.

When crossing a border, the holder, or their customs representative, unlocks the downloaded Carnet and prepares a declaration using the ATA Carnet app. A QR code is generated for each declaration to present to the customs officer upon travel.

The customs officer then scans the QR code, reviews the declared elements via the ATA Carnet Customs Portal and determines if the goods can enter or exit the border. If the declaration is correct and accepted, the customs officer will the transaction via the ATA Carnet Customs Portal.

The transaction is then recorded and a confirmation is sent to the holder or customs representative’s smartphone.

e. Relevant document/figure
10. Documents and data exchanged via the project
11. Data models/databases, proprietary solutions, hybrid approaches
12. Main challenges faced during the project
13. Lessons learned from the project
14. Main benefit(s) of the project
Enhanced regulatory compliance*
Transaction Cost savings*
Transaction Time savings
Simplified process
14A. Elaborations/detailed description on benefits gained
15. Technical/financial/capacity building/other assistance
16. Future plan for expansion of the project
17. Other information or relevant references on the project

18. Relevant document regarding the project

C. Relevant Standards

20. Electronic message standard
20A. Electronic message standard supporting the project
20B. Type of standard for electronic message applied for the project
21. Technical communication standard
21A. Technical communication standard supporting the project
21B. Type of technical communication standard applied for the project
22. Security-related standards*
22A. Security-related standard supporting the project
22B. Type of security-related standard applied for the project
23. Other Technical Information
23A. Interface developed for data exchange with an internal system
23B. Other technical implementation information