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Saudi Arabia and the Philippines to launch ATA operations in 2024


22 apr. 2024

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) will welcome the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of the Philippines as part of its ATA Carnet International Guaranteeing Chain (ATA Chain). The ATA Carnet is an international customs document operated since 1963 that allows duty- and tax-free temporary admission of goods for up to one year.

The implementation of ATA Carnets will be effective on 1 June 2024 for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and on 15 July 2024 for the Republic of the Philippines, making the ATA Carnet procedure operational in 81 countries/customs territories. 

The Federation of Saudi Chambers and the Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as national guaranteeing and issuing associations were approved during a meeting of the ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF) General Council on 21 November 2023.   

Julian Kassum, ICC WCF Director said:

“Building on several years of preparatory work with the public and private sector in both countries, we are thrilled to establish the ATA Chain in Saudi Arabia and the Philippines in 2024. This is a significant achievement for the business community. We are convinced that businesses and traders will find it much easier to do business with Saudi and Filipino partners with the help of ATA Carnets, enhancing the international competitiveness of the markets and local products of the two countries.”   

As of 1 June 2024, Saudi Customs will start accepting ATA Carnets for goods for display or use at exhibitions, fairs, meetings or similar events (Annex B1 of the Istanbul Convention).  

The scope of application of the ATA Carnet procedure in the Philippines starting 15 July 2024 will cover exhibitions, professional equipment, commercial samples, goods in connection with a manufacturing operation, goods for educational, scientific or cultural purposes, travellers’ personal effects and goods for sports purpose, goods for humanitarian purposes, and even animals.  

Henk Wit, Chair of the World ATA Carnet Council (WATAC) said:

“Having the Federation of Saudi Chambers join the ATA Chain offers considerable advantages for ATA users, especially the exhibition and event industry. We are convinced that the ATA Carnet will play a crucial role in the country’s international development, especially since they will be hosting the World Expo in Riyadh in 2030.”  

In regards to the Philippines, Mr Wit welcomed the wide scope of application and said that

“the flexibility would certainly be appreciated by the international community and would greatly help the country to attract foreign investors and visitors.” 

Also known as the ‘passport for goods’, ATA Carnets are internationally recognised custom documents that allow the duty- and tax-free temporary import of goods for up to one year.  

The ATA Chain is a guaranteeing mechanism administered by the ICC World Chambers Federation (WCF). ATA Carnets are issued at national level by National Guaranteeing Associations (NGAs).  

With less than 100 days to go to the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games, thousands of athletes, media representatives and suppliers are preparing their trip to France this summer. The ATA Carnet is a vital tool to bring their broadcasting, sports and other professional equipment across borders – free of duties and taxes – for use at the Games. 

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