27 June 2023Guide
Guide to Customs Warehousing

What is a Customs Warehouse?

A customs warehouse allows traders to store goods with duty or import VAT payments suspended. Once goods leave the warehouse, duty needs to be paid on the goods unless they are re-exported or moved to another customs procedure. HMRC must authorise you to run a customs warehouse.

For companies that hold imported stock in the UK for onward distribution in the domestic market, EU or non-EU countries, it is possible to import goods without paying duty or VAT as long as they stay in a customs warehouse. These warehouses are places where duty is suspended.

Placing goods in a customs warehouse delays the payment of charges until the goods are moved into free circulation or removes charges entirely if the goods are to be re-exported or moved to another customs approval.

For example, you could import goods from the USA, store them in a customs warehouse in the UK for as long as you need, then move to a customs warehouse in Spain without paying duty.

Goods in a customs warehouse require administration and are controlled through accurate accounting and reporting systems, which record where the goods are and stock levels. Compliant and experienced customs support teams can take care of this so that you can put your time and energy into more important parts of your business.

A Customs warehouse generally needs to be operated with simplified procedures. This enables authorised businesses to declare goods electronically direct to Customs.

What are the benefits of storing goods in a customs warehouse?

Cash flow management: without a customs warehouse, you must pay VAT and duties in advance. With a customs warehouse, you can postpone the payments of import duties and taxes once the goods are definitively sold, re-exported or moved to another customs approval. It will also reduce the time your goods are spent at ports, driving down costs even further.

Simple and safe storage of goods: when under the management of customs regulation, you can be assured your goods are looked after appropriately and securely.

Stress free movement of goods: partnering with customs brokers means they will handle the administration associated with the goods in the customs warehouse, alleviating the burden of complex paperwork and communication.

How do I know if a customs warehouse is right for my business?

Get in touch with our customs consultancy team who will take the time to explain what options you have, and whether a customs warehouse is right for you.

Having strong customs support is crucial for setting up a customs warehouse as they have the expertise in knowing the correct licensing requirements, legal obligations, and will take care of the administration, clearances, VAT and duty requirements imperative for the success of customs warehousing.

At Woodland, our customs consultancy teams are backed by 30+ experience and have the expertise, contacts and knowledge to support you and your business through the process of setting up a customs warehouse.

For more information and to learn about your options around customs warehousing, contact us below:

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