The ATA is a system allowing the free movement of goods across frontiers and their temporary admission into a Customs territory with relief from duties and taxes. The goods are covered by a single document known as the ATA carnet that is secured by an international guarantee system. The term "ATA" is a combination of the initial letters of the French words "Admission Temporaire" and the English words "Temporary Admission".
With this system the international business community enjoys considerable simplification of Customs formalities. The ATA carnet serves as a goods declaration at export, transit and import. In addition no import duties or taxes are collected for the temporary importation of goods covered by the system since internationally valid security has been established by the national associations issuing the ATA carnets. These national associations are approved by Customs and are affiliated to an international guaranteeing chain administered by the ICC World Chambers Federation (ICC/WCF).
The ATA carnet is now the document most widely used by the business community for international operations involving temporary admission of goods. The ATA system is an integral part of the WCO's ATA and Istanbul Convention.