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Why ATA Carnets Are A Tax Incentive

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Often overlooked as a tax incentive, ATA Carnets save independent film and video producers an average of 2.3% of their total budget and 16% of the value of the temporarily imported equipment.

Film Commissions would do well to promote their country's status as an ATA Carnet country in addition to any other incentives to attract production. For instance, Indonesia recently joined the carnet network and grasped the opportunity to promote its advantages as a production destination.

Eighty-one carnet countries will waive import duty and tax on equipment for international productions, also considered professional equipment or tools of the trade. Only 5 carnet countries do not accept professional equipment.

One hundred forty countries impose a value-added tax to temporary imports at an average rate of 15.6%. That tax is in addition to any import duties applicable on temporarily-imported equipment. Worldwide duty rates on film and video equipment range from 5% to 27%. For the average independent film budget that could translate into savings of £8,400 for Canada and £16,300 into Turkey. If a film commission in an ATA Carnet country is competing with a non-carnet country for a project, this difference could weigh the scales in the favor of the carnet country.

Boomerang carnets® has developed a Film Commissions Directory for its U.S. customers and is in the process of developing the same resource for U.K. producers. The directory lists carnet countries and their film commissions. Those commissions electing to be contacted from this page are linked. Those that also provide a link back to boomerang carnets® are "featured listings" (starred) and recognize the benefit of ATA Carnets for attracting foreign productions. Film commissions interested in being linked from the U.K. Film Commission Directory page can contact Anva Nuguid, Marketing Assistant.

This infographic explains it all.