post

Mar 15, 2022

The Resurgence of International Trade Shows: Showcase Your Products with an ATA Carnet

As in-person events and international travel are slowly resuming, the pre-COVID opportunities for Canadian businesses to showcase their products around the world are starting to regain momentum. The benefits of international trade shows don’t just apply to exhibitors and attendees, but also facilitate foreign relationships and trade and help spur economic growth. Additionally, obtaining an ATA Carnet through the Canadian Chamber of Commerce streamlines all your business’s temporary importing and exporting needs.   


What is the advantage of international trade shows?

The Canadian Chamber wants Canadian businesses to excel and flourish in international markets, and trade shows are an excellent way to achieve these goals. Having the ability to easily promote, demonstrate and display your business’s products and services is key to helping foster meaningful relationships with suppliers, customers and distributors. Trade shows are an invaluable source of key networking and educational opportunities. Specifically, international trade shows can provide your business with the ability to raise brand awareness and expand your customer base globally.

The fundamental role of trade shows for Canadian businesses isn’t ending; it’s evolving.

While the industry has been hit with setbacks, and in-person events have been limited due to the pandemic, there is still a demand for trade shows. A recent study from Caretta Research and Bubble Agency found that 83% of respondents prefer in-person events as their communication method to keep up with industry trends and vendor news.

This year, exhibitors are looking to make more meaningful connections with industry insiders and customers, find suppliers that can allow them to create products with sustainable materials and continue their development in business-to-business commerce.

As a Canadian business looking forward to these exciting opportunities, using an ATA Carnet to bring goods to an international trade show minimizes the potential issues of unwanted import tariffs, letting you focus on trade show preparations and exerting your influence on an international scale.

ATA Carnet uncomplicates the international trade show experience. 

Exhibitors face enough stress with all the planning involved to attend trade shows and ensure their products are ready to be transported across international borders. Troubleshooting customs and duties at the border should not be one of them. 

Perhaps you are travelling to Las Vegas for an exhibit. As you are going through customs, you declare that the reason for your visit to the United States is for business. Upon looking at the products you have brought with you, the customs officer applies a duty fee to your materials, even though you have no intention of selling them. Having an ATA Carnet is the solution to this kind of issue.

What is the ATA Carnet?

Applicable to approximately 80 countries, the ATA Carnet is often described as a passport for goods. It simplifies paperwork when crossing borders for the temporary importation and exportation of goods. 

 The ATA Carnet provides a flexible and seamless experience.

  • The temporary duty-free importation of a company’s goods: By choosing to use an ATA Carnet, your company is allowed to cross borders with commercial samples, professional equipment and goods for presentation and use, with trade shows being a prime example.
  • It replaces foreign customs documents: When your business brings goods to international trade shows, you do not need to budget for customs tariffs in each country you intend to visit. Since a large number of countries use the ATA Carnet, one document can give you access to multiple markets. For example, you can attend a trade show in the U.S. and then head to another exhibit in Europe shortly afterward with the same ATA Carnet.
  • The paperwork is obtained in advance at a fixed cost in Canadian currency:  There is no need to make customs payments or post bonds in foreign currencies. You only pay once per ATA Carnet you purchase, which varies depending on how much your organization’s products cost
  • Businesses can use the ATA Carnet for unlimited trips within a one-year validity period: Once your company purchases its ATA Carnet, the number of times you choose to attend international trade shows is entirely at your discretion. Furthermore, the ATA Carnet has the ability to be tailored to the items listed on the document. For example, your company is attending a trade show to demonstrate your state of the art equipment. Potentially, your first four travels require 20 items listed on your ATA Carnet. But, the following seven you attend only need 17 of those items. With the ATA Carnet, your company can travel with some or all of the items listed, removing the hassle of exporting unnecessary products. 

ATA Carnet is the best document to use for your international trade show needs.

There is no better time to consider the ATA Carnet when travelling. When doing so, your business needs to know all the steps to filling out the forms and ensuring your goods’ movement across borders is properly documented.

How to use an ATA Carnet

Once your business receives its ATA Carnet, you will need to ensure you have the correct amount of counterfoils and vouchers for the number of trips you have planned, along with having the front cover validated by Canadian customs. The following steps are to familiarize yourself with the purpose of the coloured pages.

  • Yellow: These are the forms required for validating the exported goods from Canada and are required again when re-importing your goods back into the country.
  • White: These forms are used for the importation and re-exportation of your goods in the foreign country.
  • Blue: These forms are used when you are transiting through a country to arrive at your destination.

A more detailed walkthrough is available here.

Ultimately, the advantages of the ATA Carnet are the simplification of customs procedures for temporary importation/exportation and the avoidance of any unnecessary expenses. Your company can instead focus on exhibiting the results of your hard work.

For more information and to begin the application process, click here