Prior Notification of ATA Carnets in Mexico

Notice that the foreign company or Mexican customs broker sends to Mexico City Chamber of Commerce, so he can temporarily import goods with an ATA Carnet


 The operation of the ATA system in Mexico requires that Carnet holders submit a Prior Notification before temporarily importing their goods to Mexico under cover of an ATA Carnet. The notification must be sent, at the latest, 3 days before the entry of the imported goods in Mexico.

It is important to note that there are two ways of importing goods in Mexico:

  • by hand carry (passenger): in this case, it is the foreign company must notify the ATA Carnet to CANACO - by filling out the form on the following webpage:

  • by cargo (using a freight forwarder or a customs broker): in this case, the foreign cargo company must contact its counterpart in Mexico. The - broker or freight forwarder in Mexico will then complete the form for the foreign company.


Upon receipt of the Prior Notification, CANACO will provide the Mexican customs authorities with a unique Reference Number, without which, the foreign company will not be able to pass the goods through Mexican customs. Mexican customs will indicate the said reference number in the importation counterfoil under number 3 (Registered under reference no.).

Please note that CANACO is the guaranteeing organization supervising the Reference Numbers in Mexico. In case the foreign company wants to use the same ATA Carnet several times during its period of validity in Mexico, it will not have to renew the Prior Notification. The Reference Number will remain unchanged. However, if the foreign company is using a new ATA Carnet, a new Prior Notification will have to be submitted.


Not every freight forwarder or customs broker knows how to properly use ATA Carnets at Mexican customs offices. This lack of knowledge can cause:

  • delays in processing of the Carnets and entry of the goods,

  • errors in filling out the forms or

  • fines and penalties due to the non-respect of deadlines.

Therefore, CANACO can help foreign companies to select authorized and competent Mexican freight forwarders or customs brokers to avoid mistakes. The list of these companies can be found on CANACO’s webpage:

Using the services of a Mexican authorized customs broker allows the company to be connected with CANACO on a 24/7 basis, obtain a Reference Number and quickly solve any kind of problems with CANACO.


Please note that Mexican customs authorities have defined schedules to clear ATA Carnets, which differ depending on the way goods enter Mexico:

  • Hand-carried goods (passenger): Customs authorities accept ATA Carnets at any time

  • Cargo (freight forwarder or customs broker): the schedule is restricted and depends on each customs office. It can be found here: Operation hours of Mexican customs offices


DUPLICATE CARNET – have the same general list and expiry date of the Original Carnet.

  • If the original ATA Carnet gets lost, destroyed, or stolen during its stay in Mexico, the foreign company which will request a duplicate Carnet must notify CANACO by sending a copy of the Duplicate the ATA Carnet via email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (green cover and general list). NOTE: it is NOT necessary to notify complete the Prior Notification form for Duplicate Carnet through the CANACO website