Qatar has officially joined the World ATA Carnet Council (Watac) and is slated to implement the ATA Carnet system in the country from August 1, it was announced by Sheikha Tamadar al-Thani, director of International Relations and Chambers’ Affairs at Qatar Chamber and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Qatar.
Sheikha Tamadar, who addressed the council meeting hosted recently by the International Chamber of Commerce’s World Chambers Federation in Xi’an, China, said Qatar’s formal accession to the council as a full member was the result of lengthy negotiations during previous sessions with Watac officials.
She stressed that the ATA Carnet plays an important role towards advancing the cause of free trade as a mechanism of trade facilitation. Sheikha Tamadar said world trade “is facing momentous challenges, with protectionist policies on the rise again.”
“The State of Qatar’s accession to the council is a testimony to its adherence to free trade, and to its belief in the importance of the free movement of goods and services around the world,” she said.
The ATA Carnet is an international customs document permitting the duty-free and tax-free temporary import and export of goods for up to one year. The most prominent features of the ATA Carnet is to enable marketing representatives, exhibition participants, and businessmen to make advance customs arrangements at a predetermined cost, visit several countries consecutively, and use the ATA Carnet for several trips during its one-year validity.
The system facilitates and simplifies customs procedures across borders for exporters and importers using one document to complete all customs procedures in the 77 countries that apply the ATA Carnet system.
Qatar Chamber is the national guarantor for the application of ATA Carnet.
Sheikha Tamadar said Qatar Chamber will organise introductory seminars and workshops aimed towards potential ATA Carnet holders and the business community, as well as co-ordinate with the General Customs Authority regarding the implementation of the ATA Carnet system.