During the First 6 Months of 2011 Goods Valued at a Record $2.85 Billion Were Exported on the Merchandise Passport by Chicago-area Small Business, Corporation for International Business. Since Companies Use the Merchandise Passport to Save Money Promoting Sales Overseas, Increased Use of the Merchandise Passport (aka ATA Carnet) Predicts a Future Increase in Exports.

Quote startThis is exactly what President Obama’s National Export Initiative hopes to accomplish for the U.S. economy and its recoveryQuote end

A record $2.85 Billion of manufactured goods were exported in the first 6 months of 2011 using The Merchandise Passport. Issued by Chicago-area small business, Corporation for International Business, the 3,502 Merchandise Passports – ATA Carnet export documents – were a record for commercial value in any six-month period during the past 25 years. By comparison, values for the prior 6 month period were only $935 Million. Merchandise Passports issued with this increase in exported commercial values portend significant growth in U.S. exports since they are used, before a sale, to promote products overseas.

CIB President, Curt Wilson, commented, “We have 25 years of issuing Merchandise Passports as an appointee of the U.S. Council for International Business. Record numbers like these indicate U.S. companies are increasing their use of ATA Carnets to promote their goods overseas and are planning to sell their U.S. manufactured products to foreign buyers. This is exactly what President Obama’s National Export Initiative hopes to accomplish for the U.S. economy and its recovery.”

ATA Carnets are useful before a sale because a carnet eliminates the need to pay millions of dollars in duty and tax with foreign customs to attend trade shows, display commercial samples or demonstrate unique features of high tech equipment. Much of the increase in exported value is the result of pre-sales activity by major Chicago-area manufacturers especially aircraft manufacturers. However, the products included in these record values, and shipped from all major U.S. ports, range from a few thousand dollars of photography equipment for a European fashion shoot to hundred million dollar prototype aircraft for an air show.

The Merchandise Passport, is one arrow in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s quiver of export promotion tools. In 2009 an agreement was signed between the U.S. national carnet guaranteeing association to promote carnets to the department’s Export Assistance Centers and ultimately to U.S. exporters. The ATA Carnet document allows exporters to clear U.S. and foreign customs without paying import duties and taxes and to do so at a pre-determined cost. Thus, the cost of promoting and selling overseas is reduced and clearing customs is easier.

The Merchandise Passport, ATA Carnet, was developed by the World Customs Organization in a joint effort with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). ICC and national customs authorities manage the day-to-day operations of the global ATA Carnet system (“ATA” is a combination of the French and English abbreviations for “temporary admission”).

CIB, using its “Boomerang Freight Solutions” service mark, is a Service Provider for the United States Council for International Business (USCIB), the U.S. Affiliate of the Paris-based, International Chamber of Commerce. CIB/Boomerang Freight Solutions has held this appointment for 25 years.

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