The Musicians Union has announced that it continues to work to help reduce costs for touring musicians in Europe and beyond following its latest announcement that it has agreed discounts from two leading Carnet providers.
An ATA Carnet is an international customs document that permits the tax-free and duty-free temporary export and import of non-perishable goods for up to one year. It is required when touring groups of musicians take equipment with them in around 87 countries.
It would apply to musicians (including brass bands) who wish to travel in the European Union.
The ATA Carnet allows the business traveller to use a single document for clearing certain categories of goods through customs in several countries without the deposit of import duties and taxes — enabling instruments and equipment to be transported with ease.
Support has come from the London Chamber of Commerce and Boomerang Carnets UK, a US company based in the UK who have offered discounts to MU members alongside free advice before they embark on what has become a much more bureaucratic process since the UK let the European Union.
The MU states that through the London Chamber of Commerce, the cost of an ATA Carnet for £10,000 worth of instruments travelling to and from the EU for two months (for any number of visits), will typically cost discounted amounts of £180 + VAT (total £216) for an issuing fee and £56 + VAT (total £67.20) for the security fee.
It lasts a year and offers worldwide cover.
With Boomerang an estimate for an ATA Carnet, travel to and from the EU (two months duration, £10,000 value) would be: Basic application processing fee inc VAT £209.88. Security fee incl VAT (amount £4,000) £60.00. Total (estimate) £269.88
The Musicians Union has also received an indication from the European Commission that individual musicians travelling with their portable musical instrument on public transport, by rail or air for example, should not require a Carnet — although this has yet to be officially confirmed from the UK Government.
The MU has advised that any musician travelling to the EU in the near future should take out a Carnet — especially if travelling with instruments in a car or van.
The ATA Carnet allows the business traveller to use a single document for clearing certain categories of goods through customs in several countries without the deposit of import duties and taxes4BR
Speaking about the latest news, Dave Webster, MU National Organiser for Live Performance, said: "We campaigned hard to avoid the need for such bureaucracy, but we are now striving to find the best solutions possible to the increased costs and paperwork.
It is reassuring that our members can call upon the expertise and services of these dedicated organisations and that some of the uncertainties and costs can be mitigated for our members."