So my friend, you plan to exhibit your merchandise at an upcoming tradeshow in a foreign country. And your TWI representative is suggesting that you ship everything on a Carnet? Great idea! "What in the world is a Carnet," you ask? Well, a Carnet is like a passport for cargo and it can be used to ship to more than 75 different countries. It allows you to reduce your cost, time and aggravation by providing a one-document entry for all customs transactions. You wont have to register your goods with U.S. customs when you leave, either, because everything is prearranged and paid for up front. A bond is required if you are not a member of the United Stated Council for International Business (USCIB). But the Bond is only 40% of the total value of the goods and you only pay a fee of 1% of the 40%. The minimum charge is $50.00 and if you are shipping some type of motorized vehicle the fees are more. Your Carnet can be used several times during the year if youre shipping the same items, and if you run out of vouchers (pages in your Cargo passport) you can always request more for the same Carnet by paying a small fee. What types of things can be shipped on a Carnet? Good question. You can ship almost anything: commercial samples such as medical equipment, plumbing and fittings, figurines, professional stuff like camera and entertainment equipment (for example, a band might ship all of their band equipment on a single Carnet), exhibitions and fairs items used for a charitable purpose or to promote learning, crafts, scientific or cultural activity, or religious knowledge or worship. How can you get started? Well, the first thing you need to do is decide what you want to ship. Make a list. Remember, only list things that are returning to your point of origin. Describe each item. Provide as many details as possible including how many of each item, the country of origin (where the item was made) and the value. This list will be used to create the Carnet general list which tells U.S. and foreign Customs what you are shipping. If you are sending some type of models you will need to include the model numbers in the description. If your list includes electronic equipment, like computers, televisions, radios and so on, dont forget to include their serial numbers. Dont include things that you plan to give away at the exhibition because it will increase your Carnet cost and Customs might think you sold the items when they dont return with all the other items on your list. Theyll want you to pay taxes and duties on items listed on the Carnet that were sold at the exhibition. Once you've made this start, our staff can help you with the rest of the Carnet process. The sales person youre working with at TWI is very familiar with Carnets and if you have any other questions, just ask. Were experts at moving freight and Carnets are just one of the ways we save our clients time and money. -- by Janice Cooper, Sales Support Representative at TWI Group, Inc., the premiere specialist in international tradeshow logistics. To contact Janice, or to find out how TWI Group can help with your upcoming tradeshow shipments, please call our Las Vegas Headquarters at 702.691.9000.