A Carnet can help you avoid paying Import Duty and Tax (such as VAT or GST) as well as delays at borders.
What is a Carnet?
A Carnet (also known as Merchandise Passports) is an international customs document that permits you to temporarily export, import and return your artwork and accessories for fairs, exhibitions, displays or loans. The document simplifies the process which is especially useful if the goods are entering multiple countries. Not using a Carnet will mean going through lengthy custom’s procedures per country which could waste both time and money.

The Carnet system lasts for up to 12 months and is accepted in most of the developed world. It allows you the flexibility to exhibit at numerous events/countries during that period.
A Carnet may be used for:

  • Temporary use abroad.
  • Countries of destination and origin that are part of the Carnet System.
  • Permitted items. It’s worth noting that not all destinations accept all types of goods!

A Carnet may not be used for:

  • Any item that has financial gain, such as a sale or on hire.
  • Perishable or consumable items.
  • Anything exported to be repaired.
  • The exportation of unaccompanied shipments.


  • Don’t pack the Carnet where it is inaccessible. Customs officials need to be able to stamp it.
  • Make sure the Carnet is processed each time the goods cross a border.
  • It is very important to have your Carnet stamped on its return to the country of origin. If it isn’t then appropriate import duty and tax may be charged. Also make sure that what left the country is exactly the same as what returned.

How to obtain a Carnet
Our team of experienced art handlers can arrange and collect Carnets for clients. Just contact us using this form.