What is a customs warehouse?
Customs warehouses are warehouses controlled by the customs authorities and managed by external operators who are experts in the field, where non-Community goods may be stored under suspension of duty or Community goods subject to export earnings for an unlimited period.
When does the merchandise leave the customs warehouse?
- Where the person responsible for it has assigned a destination within or outside the Community customs territory.
- There are exceptions where the authorities set a time limit by which the goods must be redirected.
What happens when the goods leave the customs warehouse?
The goods can leave a customs warehouse, mainly if the following cases occur:
- Free Practice Departure. When a sale is made within the European Union, the taxation of customs duties is carried out, in this case the recipient of the goods is the one obliged to pay VAT.
- Exit to consumption. Taxation of customs duties is carried out and also VAT for those sales of goods in the domestic market.
- Exit for export. In this case, the goods are not subject to any taxation since the destination is outside the Community customs territory.
Advantages of a customs warehouse
Customs warehouses are beneficial, above all, for those importing companies with a medium-low rotation or for companies of trading. For the former, having this type of warehouse means that they do not have to pay import VAT or customs duties until the goods are sold. For the latter, customs warehouses offer them the possibility of stockin the country where it is located so as to be closer to its customers.
The customs warehouse is an exempt area where goods can be stored indefinitely without any kind of tax.
(Some of the) advantages of a customs warehouse
- Indefinite time for the storage of goods (except for agricultural products which have 6 months).
- Until the goods leave the warehouse, taxes are suspended (VAT, IIEE…). In addition to customs duties.
- It allows imports from countries outside the European Union with duty suspension arrangements.
- The goods may leave the customs warehouse either totally or partially.
- Possibility of transferring all or part of the sales tax to the recipients of the goods
- As it is an exempt area, it allows the import of goods with excise duties from the Canary Islands (tobacco, alcohol…) and goods of article 65.c) of the VAT Law.
It is common for there to be confusion between a Customs Warehouseand the Temporary Customs Warehousebut, among other things, there is one essential difference. In the second, there is a period determined where the goods can remain in storage. To know more about it you can visit our post: “Temporary Customs Warehouse”.