Travel Documents | Federation Internationale de l'Automobile

Travel Documents

The Organisation mondiale du Tourisme et de l'Automobile (OTA) database

The AIT/FIA Information Centre (OTA) is currently located in Richmond-upon-Thames (United Kingdom). Its mission is to assist FIA member clubs and associations with international travel and motor-related information on many countries around the world.

It currently offers tourist and motoring information on 87 countries in English and French, as well as a number of studies on special topics, which can all be easily accessed on the internet with a simple login and password. Subscription fees are based on the size of the subscribing club — prices range from 17.15 GBP (≈ 24 EUR / 26.50 USD) per study per year for small clubs to 33.20 GBP (≈ 46 EUR / 51 USD) for larger federations.

The database and the studies are updated annually, with modifications throughout the year as required. The information comes from FIA club correspondents, club magazines, government bodies and websites, national tourist offices and travel websites.

Apart from the subscription studies, the OTA database also offers a series of free studies on specific traffic law topics, applying mainly to European countries.

For more details on the information we offer and for a list of all available studies, please see the leaflet attached. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on [email protected].

International Driving Permits (IDPs)

An International Driving Permit is a legally recognized translation of the holder’s national driving licence into several languages. It allows motorists to drive legally outside their own country when their domestic driving permit is not enough. Not all countries require foreign visitors to have IDPs in order to be allowed to drive, but it is generally recommended to carry one, particularly for car hire.

The right to issue IDPs, as per international road traffic conventions, lies in national driving licence agencies, but motoring organizations may also be granted the right to issue these documents. Many of those motoring organizations are FIA clubs, which issue a global average of over 1.5 million IDPs per year.

For more details on how the FIA can assist IDP-issuing clubs, please see the leaflet attached. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on [email protected]

The Carnet de Passages en Douane (CPD) system

About the CPD and the Triptych

The Carnet de Passages en Douane, or CPD, is the international customs document which covers the temporary admission of motor vehicles. It is accepted as a customs declaration which makes it possible to identify a motor vehicle temporarily imported. It also incorporates an internationally valid guarantee to cover import duties and taxes and secures their payment should the vehicle not be re-exported.

The CPD is still required today in numerous countries around the world for the temporary admission of private automobiles, commercial vehicles or other categories of motor vehicles.

The Triptych is a bilateral customs document that also covers the temporary admission of motor vehicles.  This document is also used in accordance with the provisions of the U.N. Customs Conventions of 1954 and 1956.

In contrast to the CPD, it is used for the temporary importation of a vehicle into one country only and may be used up to 10 times to visit that country.

Description of the CPD

The CPD cover shows the name of the holder, the name of the issuing association, the international organizations - AIT and FIA - under which the network functions, and the period of validity of the document.  The inside front cover bears a description of the vehicle covered under the CPD.  The back cover lists the countries where the CPD may be used and the name of the guarantor association in that country.  The inside of the back cover includes instructions and information essentially for the holder.

The CPD is printed in English and French and is of standard A4 dimensions. Carnets may have between 5 and 25 inside pages, each with a detachable importation and exportation voucher and a counterfoil which remains attached to the CPD.  A separate page is used for each country entered or re-entered.  Each importation and exportation voucher contains the vehicle particulars listed on the inside front cover, the full name and address of the carnet holder, the name of the issuing association and the expiry date 

Advantages of the CPD system

Where the CPD is required, there are distinct advantages for individual travellers as well as for national customs administrations. The CPD eliminates, above all, the need for cash payment and reimbursement facilities. 

  • The CPD constitutes an internationally-recognized guarantee.
  • For the customs administrations, there is no need to collect and reimburse cash deposits.
  • For the customs border posts and officers, there is one single easy-to-recognize document that covers private and commercial vehicles.
  • The CPD helps to discourage the violation of temporary importation laws.
  • The CPD helps to curb arbitrary procedures by customs officers.
  • For the national customs authorities, the AIT/FIA CPD offers a link to the vehicle owner or driver if a vehicle is not re-exported, or if any other problem arises.
  • For the tourism industry, the CPD helps ensure that travellers and their vehicles can cross national borders with greater speed, fewer formalities, and without on-the-spot payment of additional fees or guarantees.

International CPD Network

Countries in which the CPD is Required, Recommended or Accepted

This list may not be up to date due to changes in customs formalities or border procedures.  Certain countries may accept the CPD even though they fall outside the AIT/FIA customs documents network.  Countries may appear in this list but NOT on the CPD cover, notably those in which there is no AIT/FIA guarantor association.

In certain countries of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Central & South America, the CPD is not officially required, but is sometimes used to facilitate temporary importation.

The CPD is not required in Europe for private or commercial vehicles.  In Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Greece, the CPD is used only for special categories of vehicles such as racing cars, ambulances, etc.  In Turkey, the CPD is accepted, but a local document may be purchased at the border in place of a carnet.  The CPD is useful in Turkey for buses, radio/TV vehicles and breakdown vehicles

How does the CPD system function?

In countries where the CPD is required for temporary importation, the guaranteeing association must undertake to pay to its customs authorities the import duties and taxes levied by those authorities due to the non re-exportation of a vehicle temporarily imported under cover of the CPD.  The relationship between customs administrations and guaranteeing associations is defined in the international conventions of the UN and WCO. 

The CPD provides assurance that the vehicle it accompanies is covered by an internationally valid guarantee.  The CPD, which is normally valid for one year, may be used during its period of validity in the countries where the document is required, or where it may facilitate entry formalities.  The period of temporary importation is fixed by the laws or regulations of the country visited.

The role of Customs Officers

Upon entry of a vehicle, the Customs Officer stamps and signs the importation voucher of the CPD and notes the date and name of the customs post.  The officer then enters the date and customs post in the space provided on the exportation voucher.  The Customs Officer also completes and stamps the left part of the counterfoil.  The importation voucher is detached from the CPD and kept on file.

Upon exit of a vehicle, the Customs Officer stamps and signs the exportation voucher and notes the date and name of the exit post.  The officer completes the right part of the counterfoil, then stamps, dates and signs this section.  The exportation voucher is detached and returned to the customs post of entry, so that these customs authorities are given the necessary proof of re-exportation. 

Regularization of CPDs

In the event of a claim from the customs authorities, due to the non-discharge of a CPD, the guarantor association has one year in which to provide proof of re-exportation of the vehicle.  The claim notification must be notified within one year of the expiry of the carnet in accordance with the terms of the international conventions.

Customs stamps of countries subsequently visited and other documentary evidence that the vehicle has left the country may constitute proof of re-exportation as stipulated in the international conventions.  Proof of re-exportation may also be provided in the form of the “Certificate of Location”, included as the last page of the CPD, which may be completed by a customs official, police, judicial or other authority.  A model of the “Certificate of Location” is included as an annex to the 1954 and 1956 Conventions of the UN and the 1990 Istanbul Convention of the WCO.

More information: Where to get your CPD?

General information about the CPD can be downloaded here:

Brochure in Arabic: Click here to open (PDF).
Brochure in English: Click here to open (PDF).
Brochure in French: Click here to open (PDF).
Brochure in Spanish: Click here to open (PDF).