The ATA Carnet is an international customs document that is intended to simplify the customs formalities when temporarily taking certain goods abroad - for example, items for trade fairs and exhibits and professional equipment, including works of art for exhibition purposes, stage equipment for guest performances, etc. (see Returned goods procedure). The abbreviation ATA stands for “Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission,” i.e. temporary use. The basis of the ATA Carnet procedure is an international agreement that, in addition to the 28 EU Member States, has so far been ratified by approximately 40 other countries. In Germany, the ATA Carnet is issued by the local chambers of commerce. In addition, the “Free Flow of Works by Living Artists” customs certificate can be a useful accompanying document (see International Association of Art Certificate for the Customs Authorities).
Source: IHK Berlin, edited (only available in German)