What is temporary import?

Whether you're setting up an art show or need to send a shoe sample to a store – temporary import is useful as it allows goods like exhibition items, sports equipment or samples into a country for a short period of time. Learn more about the benefits of temporary import, the different types and how you can apply for it.

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What is temporary import?

It allows goods to be brought into a country for a brief period of time. It’s beneficial for businesses who ship internationally because the import duties are totally or partially suspended.

What are the different types?

There are three: ATA Carnet, standard temporary import and Inward Processing Relief.

ATA Carnet

This is an international temporary import and export document you can buy at your chamber of commerce. And it’s important to bear in mind that you may be asked to pay the duties and taxes up front.

Once you get the Carnet, you’ll get two vouchers for each country your goods pass through – one for exit and one for entry. When the goods return, you present the Carnet and goods to your chamber of commerce for completion.

Standard temporary import

If you’re bringing in goods to a country that doesn’t participate in the ATA Carnet system or your goods aren’t suitable, you can apply for standard temporary import.

Under standard temporary import, goods are imported duty free and are expected to be re-exported within a year. They’re commonly used for tools of trade and samples.

It’s important to bear in mind that you can’t use standard temporary import for the repair, alteration or processing of goods – for this you’ll need Temporary Processing Relief.

Temporary Processing Relief

Use of Temporary Processing Relief depends on the type of goods, what they’ll be used for and who is importing them.

There’s also a time limit on how long the goods can remain in the country. You can apply for Inward Processing Relief on your country’s government website and it should be done well in advance of shipping.

You’ll need to provide a complete list of all the goods and packaging materials of your shipment. And the goods may have to be examined by the authorities before leaving the origin country.

Anything else?

Temporary import is a complex topic, so make sure you do your research by asking the receiver, your chosen carrier or the customs authorities.

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