Q: Do I need one when moving equipment as defined below between the UK and the Schengen area across the Schengen area border? As either a UK citizen visiting the EU or an EU citizen visiting the UK
A: Yes this is recommended as the easiest widely accepted method of navigating customs regulations for temp export import of goods
Q: Is there any way of legally avoiding a carnet as I only have my instruments with me?
A: Yes, we now have advice as to "portables" exemption, this being the ability to "walk through" a customs channel with your instruments and "making a customs declaration by conduct" (this means just walking through with the instruments; you do not have to orally declare them). For this to be effective you have to OWN AND ACCOMPANY the instruments or goods you are carrying. As of May 2023 this advice has been expanded to include this , note page 54 of this official advice from the EU.
Musical instruments carried by travellers, whether for professional or personal use,can be declared for temporary admission by simply going through the green or ‘nothing to declare’ channel once they arrive in the customs territory of the Union from a third country/territory. In the case of accessories such as an amplifier or a microphone, as these items would be required to make the instrument produce a sound, they would be eligible for temporary admission as ‘musical instruments’, provided such accessories are carried by the traveller together with the musical instrument" LINK : https://taxation-customs.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2023-05/Rev20%20Guidance%20on%20UCC%20and%20related%20act%20-%20for%20publication%2011%20May%202023.pdf
And the UK...
REMEMBER, anything other than this are in a grey area such as pedal boards etc. please remember that you MUST accompany your own instruments not use a carrier as this invalidates this advice.
Please do remember to check any changes before travelling, but these are, as far we can find, as per our usual disclaimer, the latest information.
Q: Will I need to show this at each border inside the EU?
A: No, unless in exceptional situations where an internal border has been closed and thus controlled. All of Schengen is normally without border control, except for Switzerland, Norway and Liechtenstein and some other states who only apply part of the Schengen provisions; they may require sight of your carnet.
Q: What is a Carnet?
A: Carnet is a "passport for goods", (NOT MERCHANDISE FOR SALE )
If you are moving professional equipment (such as musical instruments, backline, video/photographic equipment, exhibition goods) between UK and EU on a temporary basis (for a concert tour, for example), you will need to declare them to Customs using an ATA Carnet. This document acts as a passport for the goods, enabling you to import and re-export them without payment of duty or VAT.
The Carnet consists of a booklet of vouchers and counterfoils which is presented to Customs at each border, enabling you to declare your goods for duty-free and VAT-free entry and exit. After use, the Carnet must be returned for discharge by the Chamber of Commerce by which it was issued, whether in an EU country or the UK.
Please remember you can use your ATA carnet anywhere in the world where one is required.
There are, in theory, certain exemptions in place for low-value musical instruments, but these have not yet been formalised or tested; for now, the safe option is to use a Carnet regardless of the value of the goods. NB: this is untested and NOT in law; it's a question of custom and practice and decisions depending on the individual customs officers you may encounter it is neither tested or in official guidance at the moment ( we will publish any official guidance once we are aware of it!)
Duplicate list procedure can be used to declare goods out of UK and back in again if you're going to a non-ATA territory, such as Georgia. It doesn't have any validity for importation to/re-exportation from other countries; you still have to declare goods in and out thereof using whatever temporary import procedure (and associated security deposit) is required by your destination territory. For the EU and other ATA territories, that procedure is operation of an ATA Carnet.
An ATA Carnet is effectively a duplicate list (from/to UK) AND a temporary import/re-export mechanism (to/from other territories), including the security guarantee required by the destination territories; a duplicate list on its own has no security component, and therefore no function or validity anywhere except UK.
You can get further information on ATA Carnets here: Rog Patterson Tour Management - ATA Carnet Consultants - Rog is an independent carnet consultant, there's no charge for advice!