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How to Use Customs Warehousing

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 2 Jul 2010 | comments*Discuss
Customs Warehousing Transporting Goods

As part of your business’s overseas trading, you may bring goods into the UK that will require storing. Customs duty and VAT may be attached to the goods you are transporting into the country. Special warehousing arrangements can be put in place that enable your business to bring overseas goods into the UK and delay paying any customs duty that may be due. These special premises are called customs warehouses.

All customs warehousing is governed by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). They authorise a premises to become a customs warehouse. You can use customs warehousing that is available from a service provider. Alternatively, your business can set-up a customs warehouse on its own premises. You can then begin transporting customs goods from overseas into your own customs warehouse.

What Type of Goods Can I Store in a Customs Warehouse?

In most circumstances you can only begin transporting customs goods from overseas if they have originated outside of the EU. Goods that would normally attract customs duty or VAT are eligible to be stored in customs warehousing. If the HMRC has given you or your warehousekeeper permission, you can also store goods that fall under the CAP or Common Agricultural Policy.

Approved Excise WarehousesFull and comprehensive documentation will be expected to travel with the goods you are moving to an approved warehouse for storage. This is usually the W8 form or the Administrative Accompanying Document (AAD). If you are trading in wine that will come from outside of the EU, your consignments will also need a VI 1 form when they arrive at your approved excise warehouse.

What type of Customs Warehousing Can I use?When you are transporting goods into the UK from your overseas supplier you have a number of customs warehouses types to choose from. The basic warehousing types fall into two categories:

  • Private warehouses

  • Know as type C, D and E warehousing are for the storage of goods by an individual trader.

  • Public warehouse

  • Known as Type A warehouse is authorised for use by a warehousekeeper who will accept your goods but takes no responsibility for them.

If you want to open your own customs warehouse you can apply to the HMRC for authorisation by completing form C1410. You can download a copy of the form from the HMRC website.

Documents and Paperwork

When your business is transporting customs goods from overseas, your consignments must have the correct documents accompanying them as they enter the UK and move to the customs warehouse you have designated. It is vitally important that your consignments have correctly completed Single Administrative Document (SAD) that is also known as form C88. Make sure you correctly fill this form in to avoid having to pay any customs duty on the goods you have imported.

Customs Freight Simplified Procedures

The CFSP is an electronic system that has been designed to help businesses as they move goods into the UK. The CFSP can also be used to handle the goods you enter into a customs warehouse. Your business must have authorisation from HMRC to use the system. More information is available in HMRC Notice 760.

Customs warehousing can be a great tool for your overseas business. Having the ability to import goods that have VAT or customs duty attached to them, but suspend the payment of those fees when the goods are in a customs warehouse can greatly enhance your business’s ability to trade efficiently.

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