Transport of equipment between EU member states
Since the 1993 abolition of fiscal frontiers between EU member states, most border controls and formalities related to merchandise have been eliminated. Because of this, film companies based in the European Union can enjoy duty-free transport of their equipment (such as camera equipment, sound equipment, decors, rushes, etc.). No specific customs documents are needed.
Transport of equipment between an EU member and a non-member state
Film companies not located within the borders of the European Union can use the ATA Carnet: an international customs document that permits duty-free and tax-free temporary import of goods for up to one year.
The ATA convention, signed by 71 countries including Belgium, aims to simplify temporary import and export operations between EU member and non-member states. The participating countries are:
Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Chili, China, Chinese Taipei, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, Ireland, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldavia, Mongolia, Montenegro, The Netherlands, New-Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Servia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South-Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunesia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States.
The carnet is not issued by the Custom Office, but by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry or their equivalent in the country of origin (for example in the USA, the United States Council for International Business). It is valid for a maximum of one year for an unlimited, but previously specified number of border crossings registered by the Chamber of Commerce.
The final re-importation must take place within the carnet’s period of validity and before the last re-importation date specified by customs in the counterfoil and export sections of the document. The carnet, once used, must be returned to the Chamber of Commerce at the latest one month after the expiration of its period of validity.
It is advisable to call on a specialist freight agent to take care of transport and customs clearing.
For more information, see International Chamber of Commerce.
Federation of Belgian
United States Council
Harris Bank Building, 2nd Floor
Other film companies, domiciled in a country that isn’t part of the ATA Convention, should contact the Custom Services when entering the European Union. A document for temporary import will be drawn up, possibly with bail.
The re-exportation afterwards has to be reported separately.