What is a Carnet de Passages en Douane?
The Carnet can be thought of as a passport for your car. It offers a guarantee to a foreign government that the vehicle identified in the Carnet, if granted temporary importation status, will be removed from the country within the time limit imposed by the respective jurisdiction. In the event that the vehicle is not removed within the imposed timeframe, the country may claim from CAA all duties and taxes that would be required to permanently import the vehicle to that country. Using the Carnet is an alternative to leaving a cash security deposit with a foreign government. It allows free movement and unencumbered access between foreign countries. Most countries, but not all, allow this option. A Carnet is valid for one year from the date of issue. The carnet is available to CAA and AAA Members and non- members resident in Canada or the U.S. and to others who have a car registered in either Canada or the U.S. Others must apply to the auto club or carnet issuer in their country of residence.
CAA is the only authorized issuer of the FIA Carnet to Canada and the U.S.
How to obtain a Carnet
An application for a Carnet de Passages en Douane can be obtained in person or by mail by contacting your local CAA office or by printing the online application form. Along with the application form, you will also need to supply the following:
- Two photographs of the vehicle (one showing the front and right side and the second the rear and left side)
- Two signed passport size photographs of the applicant
- A copy of the vehicle registration/permit document (both sides)
- A copy of your passport (2 facing pages with picture and expiry date)
- Application fee (See below)
Fees for Canadian residents
Until December 31, 2013
$750 (plus taxes) for CAA Members (non-refundable)
$950 (plus taxes) for CAA non-members (non-refundable). Not a Member? Join now!
As of January 1, 2014
$775.00 (plus taxes) for AAA Members (non-refundable)
$975.00 (plus taxes) for CAA non-members (non-refundable)
Fees for American residents
Until December 31, 2013
$750 for AAA Members (non-refundable)
$950 for AAA non-members (non-refundable)
Until January 1, 2014
$775.00 (plus taxes) for AAA members (non-refundable)
$975.00 (plus taxes) for AAA non-members (non-refundable)
Once your application has been reviewed, you will also need to supply a Financial Guarantee. This guarantee can be funded using one of these options:
Effective September 1, 2008, CAA offers indemnity coverage as an alternative to providing a cash guarantee or a bank letter of credit. This eliminates the need to tie up significant assets until the Carnet is discharged following your return.
The indemnity cost depends upon where you are travelling and the value of your vehicle. Using the insurers indemnity table take the highest percentage for the countries you plan to visit. Multiply 10% of the current market value of your vehicle by this percentage and add 8% tax as indicated on the table, and you will have an idea of the cost of the indemnity coverage. Please note that upon the discharge of your Carnet following your return, 50% of your premium (plus 8% of taxes less a 7.5% CAA administration fee) will be refunded. Please note that the duration of the policy is for one year coinciding with the one year validity of your Carnet. Therefore, if your travels extend beyond that one year period, an additional policy must be purchased
Cash Guarantee or Irrevocable Letter of Credit
For the alternative to the indemnity option CAA requires a financial guarantee, sufficient for CAA to meet any claims from a foreign government for customs duties and taxes. These duties and taxes can be levied against a vehicle when it is temporarily imported into a country under cover of a Carnet de Passages, but is not removed or exported. This financial protection is provided to CAA by the holder of the Carnet in the form of an irrevocable letter of credit, a certified cheque or a money order. This financial guarantee is held by CAA in a non-interest bearing account until such time as the used Carnet is returned to CAA and is properly discharged.
CAA calculates the amount of the financial guarantee using the value of the vehicle and the maximum amount of duties and taxes (and when required, the cost of insurance and shipping) that could be claimed by the countries to be visited.
To help you determine which guarantee option is best, use our Online Calculator.
End of Trip Discharge of Carnet
When you have returned home from your trip you must courier (to ensure prompt delivery) the Carnet back to CAA National Office, In order to properly discharge the Carnet. It will have an entry and exit stamp for every foreign country visited on the stub of each page used. The Certificate of Location on the last page inside the Carnet must be endorsed by Canada customs (or U.S. customs in the case of a vehicle returned to the U.S.) confirming the final destination of the vehicle. It is proof to CAA that the vehicle is back in Canada or U.S. (which ever is applicable). When the Carnet is properly discharged by CAA:
- 50% of your indemnity insurance premium (plus 8% of taxes less a 7.5% CAA administration fee) will be returned to you or
- The financial guarantee or letter of credit will be returned to you by CAA
If you have any questions, please call International Documentation Services at CAA National office (613) 247-0117, ext. 2025 or e-mail email@example.com
Extending Your Trip
Both the carnet and if purchased the indemnity are valid for twelve months. If you plan to extend your overseas trip beyond twelve months a new Carnet and if applicable a further twelve month indemnity will need to be acquired. The fees for each will be the same as for the first twelve months. This will apply for each twelve month period that your trip is extended. In the case of the letter of credit it may be used to renew the Carnet for a second and third year. A new letter of credit will be required to guarantee any further Carnet renewals.