The RAC has taken the difficult decision to stop running its international vehicle passport ‘Carnet de Passage en Douanes’ service which enabled vehicles to be temporarily ‘imported’ into a country avoiding local duties and taxes.
A carnet is required for travel in: Africa (not required in Tunisia and Morocco); Australia/New Zealand; Far East; Middle East and is recommended in South America.
The RAC was previoulsy the only organisation in the UK sanctioned by the FIA – Federation Internationale de l’Automobile – to issue Carnet de Passage en Douanes international customs documents.
Now CARS UK is sanctioned to issue the Carnet, contactable either via phone on +44 1284 333812 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org FAO Sukie Duhaney / Melvyn Palmer.
The service, which was used by motoring and charity expeditions, explorers, adventurers as well as many TV production companies wishing to film with vehicles in far-off locations, ceased operation on 31st December 2015.
The RAC is in the process of informing both current and regular carnet customers of its decision. All current carnets are still valid for the standard 12-month period and will continue to be administrated by the RAC until they expire. The address to return expired carnets is:
Great Park Road
The RAC’s decision to close the service has been brought about by a dramatic fall in the number of carnets issued in recent few years making the service unviable to run.
Following a business review at the beginning of 2013 the RAC changed the way costs of carnets could be covered in the event a vehicle was not re-exported from a country. As these duties can vary massively depending on the country being visited and the value of a vehicle the RAC had to have adequate financial security in place to cover all liabilities should a vehicle not be re-exported.
Consequently, the decision was made to withdraw the bank guarantee option because of low take-up, administration difficulties and legal requirements which vary from bank to bank. As, on average, only 4% of carnets issued each year were secured by a bank guarantee, the RAC felt it was no longer economical to offer this as a security option.
The RAC understands this, along with the associated price increases, caused concern in the carnet community. By allowing another carnet-issuing club, to undertake its role on a formal basis, the RAC believes customers can have the choice of where they wish to purchase their Carnets from as of 1st January 2016 and under which security term that suits them.
We would like to thank the many customers who have purchased carnets for their vehicles from us over the years and wish them continued good luck in their future travels.
Questions & Answers
Who governs the issuing of Carnet de Passage en Douanes?
The Alliance Internationale de Tourisme, founded in 1898, and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile 1904 are the two international non-governmental organisations that control the carnet process on behalf of more than 220 affiliated motoring clubs and associations in some 130 countries around the world.
The AIT provides material support to the FIA and manages the international AIT /FIA customs document network with the aim of facilitating international travel and touring.
A comprehensive multi-lateral guarantee agreement forms the legal and contractual link between the members of the AIT/FIA network. This agreement sets down the responsibilities and obligations of the guaranteeing and issuing members.
The guarantee agreement also includes specific instructions regarding application forms for carnets, how to complete the carnets, their use and correct discharge and how to proceed in case of loss, theft, or non-discharge of a carnet (on leaving a country the carnet document needs to be stamped to provide the necessary proof of re-exportation).
Why was the RAC the only motoring organisation in the UK that was able to issue Carnet de Passage en Douane?
The RAC issued carnets for more than 30 years and was the only issuer of carnets following the withdrawal of the other issuing club a number of years ago.
Where to go for carnet information now
A Carnet de Passage en Douane section has been introduced on the FIA public website.
The FIA website is a fundamental platform to ensure a wider visibility of thecarnet at an international level.
On this site you will find information on:
- About the carnet and the Triptych
- Advantages of the carnet system
- Where to get a carnet
- How the carnet system functions
- Carnet brochures (in Arabic, English, French and Spanish)