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By: Moira Wilson | November 15, 2011

When Mexico joined the worldwide ATA Carnet system of countries, on May 16th, the U.S. film and video industry leapt on the opportunities it presented. Mexico has been in the process of becoming a member for 15 years and producers have been waiting; until now. Just four months since Mexico joined, and trade barriers between the neighboring countries collapsed, U.S. film and video producers are the leading beneficiaries of Mexico's participation, at 48.10% for production purposes. An ATA Carnet (kar-nay) is an internationally accepted customs document used for boomerang freight. Presentation of a carnet to foreign customs allows your temporarily exported merchandise or equipment to pass duty and tax free into carnet countries for up to one year.

"Producers and photographers are most aware of Mexico's addition to the system and are eager to use the carnet to Mexico. The recent addition of the Cabo San Lucas port makes logistics that much simpler for producers who use that port regularly", stated Jackie Dalgleish, ATA Carnet Specialist with Corporation for International Business, the largest carnet issuing office in the United States. Cabo San Lucas and Santa Rosalia were added to the list of Mexican ports accepting carnets on October 14th, bringing the total to twelve. Authorized ports are Tijuana, Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Altamira, Veracruz, Manzanillo, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Los Cabos and Santa Rosalia International Airport, Cancun and Mexico City Airport. All ATA Carnets into Mexico require pre- registration with Mexican Customs.

Use of ATA Carnets in the U.S. production industry has been high for a long time. Producers are well aware of the temporary export document's many benefits, particularly its ability to get valuable production equipment through foreign customs quickly and securely. Another benefit of ATA Carnets is they allow for the import of equipment, merchandise and goods temporarily into foreign countries without paying import duties, taxes or fees.

ATA Carnets, issued by Corporation for International Business in Barrington, IL are used by producers, photographers, photojournalists and cinematographers all over the world. CNN used a carnet, issued by the Carnet Specialists at Corporation for International Business, to clear equipment through Portuguese customs upon arrival on Air Force One with President Obama. "Its rewarding to see the carnet in action with our customers and it's a great plug for carnet use in general. CIB issues four to five thousand carnets annually but rarely does one get a ride on Air Force One", commented Curt Wilson, President, Corporation for International Business, while viewing the CNN video of an ATA Carnet being stamped by foreign customs. CNN's production equipment cleared securely, quickly, and import duty- and tax-free into Portugal that day.

The U.S. production industry's knowledge of and experience with ATA Carnets, as a security compliant, money saving temporary export document, is leading the way into Mexico.

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