Blog Mar 15, 2022

How the ATA Carnet Benefits the Manufacturing Industry


Canada’s manufacturing industry plays an essential role in its economic growth. One of the many factors that enable this industry to thrive is trade. International markets are great opportunities for growth for Canadian manufacturers. The ATA Carnet can help Canadian manufacturers enter foreign markets by making it easier for them to travel with their professional equipment, commercial samples and goods for use at trade shows and exhibits.


The manufacturing industry has a significant impact on the Canadian economy.

While there has been a decline due to the pandemic, Canada has seen a rebound in manufacturing of 1.8% since October 2021, according to Statistics Canada. During that same time period, Statistics Canada also reported Canadian exports have increased to $11.4 billion, and imports have grown to $54.1 billion. Some sub-sectors worthy of recognition are electronics and apparel. 

  • Electronics Industry: Canada is home to a significant amount of electronic manufacturers, specifically in the software industry. From ecommerce, software development, information technology, graphic design and processing, Canada boasts industry leaders in many niche categories under electronics.
  • Apparel Industry: Canada has a variety of nationally and internationally recognized clothing manufacturing and design companies. Known for our cold climate, Canadian manufacturers that specialize in outerwear tend to have a high reputation for the quality of their goods. 

The success of Canadian manufacturers in the electronics and apparel industry — along with many other manufacturing sub-sectors — has an impact on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of around $174 billion.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is focused on shaping and supporting the future of business success not only in the manufacturing industry, but for businesses of all sizes, sectors and regions of Canada. We achieve this by working with government on economy-friendly policy and providing services that inform commerce and enable trade. One of those services is the ATA Carnet, an internationally recognized customs document for the temporary importation of goods.

How the ATA Carnet factors into the manufacturing industry.

To help with their growth, manufacturers need to showcase their products in a variety of international markets. This will help them grow their global market share and become leaders in their field.

However, the complexity of import and export logistics can cause manufacturers to miss out on potential foreign opportunities. One way to simplify customs procedures while travelling with manufactured commercial samples is to get an ATA Carnet.

How is ATA Carnet applied?

The ATA Carnet’s purpose is to temporarily permit the duty-free and tax-free importations of goods into foreign countries. The benefits of the ATA Carnet include its acceptance in over 80 countries, along with the time and cost-savings. By choosing an ATA Carnet as a company’s preferred temporary import/export document, manufacturers can travel to the countries participating in the ATA Carnet program an unlimited number of times during its one-year validity period. Additionally, there is no need to worry about import tariffs. Furthermore, the only payment required for the ATA Carnet is upon purchase, the cost being determined by the total value of goods being exported.  

Without an ATA Carnet, manufacturers can come across unnecessary paperwork (with the possibility of having to complete documents in the country’s native language), causing multiple delays. Additionally, without an ATA Carnet, a customs official may deem the goods the person is travelling with are intended for permanent import and apply duties and taxes on the items. These fees have to be paid immediately in order for the goods to be released from customs. The ATA Carnet also guarantees re-exportation so manufacturers can be at ease when they travel with their samples, keeping their focus on the presentation of their goods to potential clients.

, The ATA Carnet is applicable to manufacturers for their business travel on three levels:

  • Commercial samples: These are products intended for demonstration. They are prototypes or floor models and are not intended for sale. It is important to mention that samples cannot be modified or consumed when being temporarily exported on an ATA Carnet. They have to return to Canada in their original state.
  • Professional equipment: These are the tools you need to perform a service or enable your presentation/demonstration. You need equipment to demonstrate your product.
  • Goods for presentation or use at trade fairs, shows, exhibitions or similar events: One of the ways manufacturers succeed in exporting their goods worldwide is by advertising their products around the world through numerous types of events. For example, there are multiple fashion shows and exhibits around the world for the apparel industry and even TV segments to showcase new designers and trends. These events help expose apparel manufacturers to new international audiences, grow their client base and facilitate international trade.  

ATA Carnet puts businesses at an advantage

Without a doubt, Canadian manufacturers contribute significantly to the activity and growth of the Canadian economy. The opportunity to explore what their industry has to offer them outside of Canada, along with displaying their innovative products, can lead to incredible developments within their company.

Through its ATA Carnet program, the Canadian Chamber is ready to help Canadian businesses temporarily bring their goods into foreign markets and flourish internationally. With the ATA Carnet, manufacturers can focus on what matters: leading successful ventures in foreign markets.

Learn more and begin your ATA Carnet application here.