Customs warehousing - introduction

By Tolley

The following Value Added Tax guidance note by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Customs warehousing - introduction
  • What is customs warehousing
  • Goods that can be stored in a customs warehouse
  • Selling goods in a customs warehouse
  • Security
  • Samples
  • Books and records
  • Handling operations (‘Usual Forms of Handling’ - UFOH)

Please note that the procedure outlined below ceased to be applicable when the Union Customs Code was introduced on the 1 May 2016. Please see theUnion Customs Code - customs warehousing and other guidance notes in the Union Customs Code subtopic for more information on the current rules.

2913/92/EEC ; De Voil Indirect Tax Service V17.134; V3.138; V3.331; V3.332; V3.371; V3.372; V5.141, V5.141A.(subscription sensitive); GACV31250; VWRHS1030 (types of warehouse); Notice 232 Customs Warehousing (LNB News 02/02/2007 75)

This guidance note provides information on customs warehousing and should be read in conjunction with the Customs warehousing - obtaining authorisation, Customs warehousing - storing goods and Customs warehousing - transfers and disposals guidance notes.

What is customs warehousing

Payment of import duties and / or VAT is suspended or delayed when non-EU goods are imported and stored within premises, or under an inventory system that has been authorised as a customs warehouse. If the goods are liable to excise duties then this will only become payable when the goods leave the customs warehouse procedure.

The main advantages of using a customs warehouse are:

  • payment of customs duties and / or import VAT and excise duties will be delayed
  • if the importer does not know the ultimate destination of the imported goods then it can delay the need to declare the goods into another customs procedure
  • it can re-export the goods to a non-EU country without having to pay any import charges
  • goods can be imported whilst dealing with any specific import requirements, such as acquiring an import licence, etc
  • goods can be transferred to another customs procedure, such as inward processing relief, from the warehouse regime
  • goods can be subject to ‘usual forms of handling’ whilst in the

More on Customs and international trade: