What Are The Benefits of Bonded Warehousing?

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By Louis Perrin

What are the benefits of bonded warehousing?

Bonded warehouses offer huge benefits to British importers. We take a look at what a bonded warehouse is – and why you might need one.

Improve cash flow

In a bonded warehouse, you only pay duty when the bonded goods leave for sale. As a result, bonded storage can provide much-needed breathing space for you to market your product, or to carry out additional pre-sale activity.

Defer that duty

This ability to defer payment can provide a welcome boost to your cashflow. Moreover, if you export your goods, then you don’t have to pay duty at all – with an estimated tax saving of around 25-30%.

Long-term storage solution

With the exception of products covered by the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy), goods may be stored in UK bonded warehouses indefinitely. If work is required to meet (for example, import licensing requirements), or goods are restricted, they may be stored until requirements are met (or else exported). For more information about the impact of Brexit on import and exports, read our guide: Brexit: Essential Guidance for Importers & Exporters.

Anticipate supply and demand

You know that customers will need your goods – you’re just not sure exactly when. This is where a customs bonded warehouse can really help. Goods can be ordered ahead of seasonal peaks in demand, allowing you to be agile and responsive, even when faced with unpredictable customer demands.

Keep the quality

Customs bonded warehouse facilities are equipped to store any kind of product for as long as necessary, while ensuring the quality. Temperature-controlled facilities are available, as well as those with dry containers and freezers.

Keep your goods safe and compliant

Customs bonded warehouses are highly regulated and undergo regular inspection by HMRC. Consequently, you can be sure that your goods are well looked after. Moreover, the warehouse is required to have robust security measures (such as CCTV) and to fully document your goods, for extra peace of mind.

Reduce lead times – and carbon

The majority of bonded warehouses are located close to major ports or airports, allowing companies to store their goods at the port of entry until they are ready for distribution. This creates cost savings across the entire supply chain as it reduces lead times and the potential for damage, while cutting the cost of transport and carbon emissions.

Single point of contact

Most warehouses are affiliated with freight forwarders like HFS. This means that you can entrust your logistics provider to take care of extra elements within your supply chain, reducing complexity and cost. In addition, HFS is able to offer value-added Storage and Warehousing Services, such as container loading and unloading, 3PL fulfillment, plus ecommerce services such as Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA).

What is a bonded warehouse?

A bonded warehouse is a place of storage for imported goods (also known as bonded goods) that have yet to be processed by customs. In simple terms, it is a duty-free zone. There are two types of storage – wet and dry. Wet bonded warehouses are the only ones in which alcohol and tobacco may be stored.

What are bonded goods?

Bonded goods are imported goods upon which duties, taxes and any other customs charges are still owed. These goods are typically kept in a customs bonded warehouse, an area of a warehouse controlled by customs authorities.

Why are bonded warehouses used?

Bonded warehousing allows you to defer payment of duty and any other taxes due (such as VAT, if the goods are imported into the UK) until imported goods are distributed for sale. It also provides a period of time in which goods may be sorted, repackaged or otherwise processed prior to being distributed, during which no duty or tax need be paid.

How does bonded warehousing work?

Generally, goods eligible for bonded warehousing in the UK must have been imported from a non-EU country. Exceptions include goods moving from another EU country under a temporary duty suspension or Community Transit, and products covered by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that are eligible for an export refund.

Can any goods be stored in a bonded warehouse? How long can they stay?

The majority of imported goods may be stored in a bonded warehouse in the UK for as long as you wish, although products covered by the CAP, such as oils and fats, meat and sugar, are subject to specific arrangements. When goods leave the warehouse, duty must be paid, unless they move to another bonded warehouse or are exported.

Where can I find a bonded warehouse near Felixstowe?

At HFS, we provide an end-to-end logistics and bespoke bonded warehousing service from Felixstowe and London Heathrow Airport, with an additional warehouse facility close to the Port of Liverpool.

Our specialist warehousing team is able to handle loading and unloading, cross docking and order fulfillment, as well as pallet and carton distribution. Our Storage and Warehousing Services are monitored 24/7, giving customers total peace of mind.

Moreover, we have in-house customs experts to guide you through the latest raft of Governmental legislation and to help you secure the best rates for your shipments. Learn more about our Custom Clearance services.

We pride ourselves on our industry knowledge and ability to understand every customer’s needs. We can store most things – so if you’re looking for a bonded warehouse, or a complete warehouse and logistics solution, please get in touch.

Enquire about bonded warehousing