Below, memo from NATO headquarters in Brussels....
Chicago, United States - 20-21 May 2012 - First media advisory
The NATO Summit of Heads of State and Government in Chicago, United States of America, will be held on Sunday 20 and Monday 21 May 2012. This first NATO advisory provides information about accreditation procedures, visa requirements and accommodations arrangements.
Follow-on advisories will provide information in the coming weeks on a broad array of media-related topics.
The NATO Summit programme is not yet finalised. Further information may be forthcoming in late April, and a definitive NATO media programme will be delivered to media representatives upon accreditation. Currently, and in order to guide media travel plans, NATO is working on a tentative programme that would see the Summit's formal opening mid-day on Sunday 20 May and its end around mid-Afternoon on Monday 21 May 2012.
The meetings will take place at the McCormick Place, 2301 South Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois, 60616-1460.
There will be an online Media Accreditation system. Media representatives wishing to cover the Chicago 2012 events and/or to enter the International Media Centre must apply to receive the Chicago 2012 Media Credential.
NATO and the Host country have entrusted the online application submissions to the Ardian Group Inc. Accreditation can only be made on-line via the following link: https://chicago2012.iglobalreg.com/mediamassapply/apply.
Applications for accreditation should be made no later than 13 April 2012.
In addition, NATO pool cards for individual NATO events will be needed. Procedures for Pool cards will be detailed in a subsequent media advisory.
Visas and customs
All Media covering the NATO Summit who are not U.S. citizens, or do not currently hold a work permit, are required to have an "I" visa. The Visa Waiver programme (VWP) does not cover individuals coming to the U.S. to work, even for a short period of time. Visit http://travel.state.gov/ for more information.
In order to avoid possible confusion, media representatives should apply for a visa only after submitting an accreditation to the Chicago 2012 Events.
Media representatives travelling to Chicago will have to pass through customs.
Press bringing equipment (from outside the U.S.) to Chicago for the NATO Summit should obtain a Temporary Importation Bond (TIB) or a Carnet. A TIB allows members of the media to transport equipment (tools of the trade) without incurring duty. For those unfamiliar with the process, the U.S. Department of Homeland security (DHS) recommends hiring a broker to facilitate the process. A list of brokers can be found through DHS' website. Fees vary so journalists should consult the list and contact brokers for specifics. Information on bringing equipment into the U.S. can be found at the link below: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/590/kw/tib/sno/1.
A list of TIB Brokers for Chicago can be found here: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/contacts/ports/il/3901.xml.
Press in possession of a Carnet can also transport equipment into the U.S. without incurring duty. According to the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, ATA Carnets are accepted for goods traveling between the U.S. and a number of other countries. Visit this link for more information: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/148/kw/148.
For a list of participating countries please visit: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/149/kw/Carnet/sno/1.
For questions and answers about carnets, please check out https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/list/kw/Carnet/sno/1/search/1/session/L3NpZC81UURXKnpFaw%3D%3D.
US Hosts have identified The Hyatt Regency Chicago (151 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601) as a recommended media hotel. US Hosts have negotiated favorable rates on behalf of the media. Rates will begin at USD 171 (plus applicable taxes), and will not exceed USD 299. Lower rates are available on a first come first serve basis. Reservations there can be made on https://resweb.passkey.com/go/NATOPress.
Accreditation and dedicated transport will be organised from this recommended media hotel for accredited media.
NATO Media Coordinator's Office
Telephone : +32.2.707.5038 / 1431 / 1465
Or in the US: +1.757.747.3235 / 3227
US Media Coordinator's Office