We have developed an assay to monitor the assembly of the COPII coat onto liposomes in real time. We show that with Sar1pGTP bound to liposomes, a single round of assembly and disassembly of the COPII coat lasts a few seconds. The two large COPII complexes Sec23/24p and Sec13/31p bind almost instantaneously (in less than 1 s) to Sar1pGTP-doped liposomes. This binding is followed by a fast (less than 10 s) disassembly due to a 10-fold acceleration of the GTPase-activating protein activity of Sec23/24p by the Sec13/31p complex. Experiments with the phosphate analogue BeFx suggest that Sec23/24p provides residues directly involved in GTP hydrolysis on Sar1p.