The World Chambers Federation (WCF) offers a range of practical products and services that facilitate international trade for chambers and their members. These include administering ATA Carnets and Certificates of Origin, as well as providing e-commerce and business opportunity promotion services.
Trade facilitation is a priority for many chambers of commerce, with international trade part of the chamber’s economic development strategy. As the advocate organization for the global community of 12,000 chambers of commerce around the world, WCF is committed to helping its chamber members provide international trade products and services designed to facilitate the exchange of goods around the world.
The ATA Carnet, also known as the 'Passport for Goods', the 'Passport to world trade', is an internationally-recognized and accepted Customs document which permits the duty- and tax-free temporary import and export of goods for up to one year.
The initials 'ATA' are an acronym of the French and English words 'Admission Temporaire'/'Temporary Admission'.
Governed by a set of international Conventions developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO), ATA Carnets cover three major kinds of goods traded internationally: commercial samples, professional equipment, and goods for presentation or use at trade fairs, exhibitions, and shows. This means almost everything from the ordinary to the extraordinary, the usual and unusual: computers, repair tools, photographic and film equipment, musical instruments, industrial machinery, vehicles, jewellery, clothing, medical appliances, aircraft, race horses, art work, prehistoric relics, ballet costumes, rock group sound systems, etc. If you can name it and it is not consumable or perishable, then it can probably be covered by an ATA Carnet.
The ICC WCF World ATA Carnet Council (WATAC) is the body within ICC WCF that manages the International ATA Carnet Guarantee Chain. The Chain comprises today 74 organizations operating the ATA System in 75 countries.
More than 175,000 ATA Carnets are issued every year to facilitate the movement of goods across the international borders of member territories.
Certificates of Origin
A Certificate of Origin is a document that attests that goods in an export shipment have been wholly obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country – the country of origin.
Almost every country takes into consideration the origin of imported goods when determining whether goods can be legally imported and the duty that will apply.
In most countries, chambers of commerce are the key agent in the issuance and attestation of Certificates of Origin. The WCF work programme reinforces the trust and integrity of the chamber Certificate of Origin “chain”. It provides a range of services bringing consistency and mutual collaboration between chambers in this domain.
In line with its goal to provide chamber members with exclusive programmes for developing new business, trade and business matchmaking, WCF has developed partnerships with key organizations, including the UN Procurement Division which offers products and informational tools that educate chambers and their members about how to become a UN supplier.
WCF’s World Chambers Network (WCN) Global Business Exchange (GBX) provides a showcase of business opportunities. GBX has a decade-long track record of delivering – be it in the search for import and export trade leads, for investors or joint partners, for contract bidding, or for business representation in foreign markets.
E-commerce and online markets
In the burgeoning e-commerce market, WCF is working to help members understand and embrace the potential of online business.
It has developed ChamberTrust, the business-to-business verification seal that allows companies around the world to easily find potential new business partners whose existence, profile, products and services have been verified by a chamber of commerce. ChamberTrust is an affinity programme, bringing legitimacy to the online presence of both chamber members and non-members.