• GMCCTradeteam

*** NEW *** FAQ OF THE WEEK: What’s a Customs Warehouse and how would it benefit my business?



Using a Customs Warehouse allows businesses to store goods and suspend the payment of import taxes on those until those are released into free circulation or moved to another procedure. This is particularly beneficial to companies who import products that will ultimately be re-exported so that they can benefit from complete duty and tax relief on those.


A customs warehouse can only be used to store goods, to improve their marketable quality or prepare them for their redistribution or resale. Goods that are undergoing processes or repair cannot stay in a customs warehouse and must be transferred to the relevant customs schemes such as Inward Processing and comply with the requirement of this scheme.

Goods that are not being re-exported or moved to another customs procedures will need to be released into free circulation. A customs declaration will need to be processed to inform HMRC of the release and the relevant amount of duty and VAT paid. This can be the case of goods that have been placed into a customs warehouse while awaiting additional licences required for the full clearance for example.


There are two types of customs warehouses:

Public warehouse: Operated by another business who acts as the warehousekeeper

Private warehouse: Operated by yourself to store your own goods and act as the warehousekeeper.


To operate a customs warehouse, you must be authorised by HMRC and follow a set of strict rules including clear stock records. If the customs warehouse is part of your normal warehouse, this must be clearly indicated, and processes must be in place to ensure a clear demarcation.


To conclude, Customs Warehouses are a very useful tools for businesses but require strict protocol to ensure all processes are compliant with any HMRC rules. If this sounds like something you might benefit from and would like to speak to the team about how to get the authorisation in place, please email exportbritain@gmchamber.co.uk

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