Monday, March 25, 2019

Instruments In transit If 'No Deal' Brexit | Music Think Tank

Guest post by Nick Louder. This article originally appeared on Entertainers Worldwide

Instruments in transit

In a ‘no deal’ scenario, musicians and their instruments will find crossing borders more difficult and, potentially, more costly. The UK will become a ‘third country’ to the EU meaning new customs regulations. This is likely to create a backlog, as countries introduce new electronic infrastructures and recruit and train staff. Queues at airports and border crossings will invariably be longer. It is also anticipated that in the event of no deal, new barriers to British exporters to the EU would create severe build-up of traffic near some ports, leading to major problems for goods travelling by lorry. Therefore, it will be essential to allow more time for travelling musicians for shipping your instrument than you do now.

In the case of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, live bands and musicians who transport equipment and instruments above a certain value (set by individual countries) may need to apply for carnets (ATA – air or CPD – vehicle) to temporarily export equipment and instruments across borders – whether by hand or freight. ATA carnets last for one year and the cost is dependent on the value of the goods and the countries to be visited.

Dynamic Dox, carnet specialists in the UK, states, ‘The ATA system began in 1951, is run by the ICC WCF World ATA Carnet Council and was used by UK companies before our EU membership. There is no EU oversight as such, or reason for the approach not to be used in the event of no deal.’

Currently, if you are temporarily bringing an instrument over a certain value into almost any country outside the EU you require special paperwork to prove that you will return home with the instrument in the same condition (i.e. you won’t sell it and it won’t undergo any remedial work), meaning that you don’t need to pay customs duty or tax. In a ‘no deal’ situation, you may be required to follow the same process when travelling to an EU27 country – for example, France.

Another possible option is to create a ‘duplicate list’. HMRC states that you can use a ‘duplicate list’ if you would like to temporarily export goods but don’t want to pay for a carnet. Duplicate list can also be used for countries that don’t recognise carnets. However, the process in organising a duplicate list is more complicated and is explained below.

Before you export your equipment or instrument, you should prepare a list (on company stationery if you have it). Include:

  • A description of the goods
  • How many there are
  • Serial numbers, if the goods have them
  • Value of the goods

At customs, you’ll need to provide

  • 2 copies of the list
  • a completed form C&E 1246

You can find further information on HMRC’s website here.

You will need submit this duplicate list to customs when you arrive at the airport and check in with them on your return. Please note that not every airport has the necessary customs function to process duplicate lists. You should check before you book your flight and always contact the HMRC imports and exports helpline in advance to make the arrangements.

HMRC imports and exports helpline: 0300 200 3700

Helpful links:

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Carnet FAQs

Read the government’s temporarily exporting goods here.

Source: What does a ‘No Deal’ Brexit Mean For Travelling Musicians & Their Instruments (


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