Okay, so this little piece is not the world’s most interesting topic. In fact, even the word “carnet” makes me want to lie down and have a little snooze. But unfortunately carnets are a fact of life for anyone travelling with camera kit, so I thought I’d pop down a few helpful points for people travelling to Dubai to film.

- Eve Hester Wyne

A carnet or ATA Carnet (pronounced kar-nay) is an international customs and temporary export-import document ( see my point about wanting to have a nap?) You need it to clear customs in many countries without paying duties and import taxes on your camera kit- because the document lets customs officials know that you will be leaving the country with the same equipment.

You have to arrange a carnet in your home country. In the UK and Ireland you apply for them through your Chamber of Commerce. Support services within most major broadcasters should have procedures for these applications. Check with your production co-ordinator- carnets are very common for all crews travelling anywhere abroad.

Now you might think that you don’t need a carnet when you enter Dubai, since a Carnet is strictly speaking a document for import duties, and Dubai doesn’t have any tax. But this is just a strange anomaly. The UAE customs officials will ask to see an “officially stamped list of equipment” which is your carnet. They just want to see it for a different reason.

You need to present yourself to customs when you arrive in Dubai with your public filming permit. They will check the equipment list on your carnet against the serial numbers on your equipment.

Specifically with reference to Dubai- and I know I’ve said this before- please do make sure you’ve got all the paperwork, the carnet, the filming permissions, etc, before you decide to just jump on a plane! If customs see you striding through with flight cases and tripods you could be held up (or have your kit impounded) if you don’t have the right documents.

ATA carnets  are accepted at all airport terminals here.  In my experience, the customs at Terminal 3 (the Emirates Airline terminal) are the most efficient of the three terminals at Dubai International Airport. ITerminals 1 & 2 customs can take longer.

Happy filming!