At John Good, we are authorised by HMRC to operate bonded warehouses and hold AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) accreditation, which means our customers enjoy accelerated removal and release of cargo, efficient stock management and complete product traceability throughout the supply chain.

Our experienced teams handle the completion of export and import customs formalities, such as NES customs entry, intrastat and CFSP Messaging, at all main UK ports to ensure consignments get through the process as quickly as possible. We also offer advice on importation, taxation and clearance procedures, to ensure shipments clear customs swiftly and efficiently.

John Good Shipping’s subsidiary Felixstowe Warehousing is one of the largest third-party operators of bonded warehousing in the Felixstowe and Ipswich area. We provide over 200,000 square feet of modern bonded warehousing supported by our ongoing investment in our HMRC approved warehouse management systems, this alongside our BRC and AEO accreditations shows our commitment to customers that we can be trusted with their products and reputation.

What is a bonded warehouse?

A Bonded Warehouse (sometimes referred to as a Customs Warehouse) is a warehouse tightly regulated by customs, where imported goods that are intended for export can be stored in the UK without actually entering the UK market. HMRC approved bonded warehouses enable importers to defer the payment of Duty and VAT until they sell the goods. This arrangement allows the importers to pass on the costs to their Customers at the point of sale rather than having large outlay at the time of import.

You can store goods in a Customs-approved
warehouse if they are:

  • Imported from outside the EU and are liable to customs duties or import VAT
  • Moved from another EU country in duty suspension
  • Common Agricultural Policy goods
  • EU goods that qualify for common storage arrangements

You can also put goods into a customs warehouse if:

  • You don’t know the final destination the goods when they arrive in the UK
  • Your import licence or paperwork have been delayed, or you’re waiting for duty relief quota
  • You want to use another customs procedure such as IP (Inward Processing)

Entering goods into a bonded warehouse

There are two ways your agent can enter goods into a customs warehouse for you:

  • Direct representation – where the agent enters goods on your behalf, in your name. With this option, you’re responsible for any customs debt due to errors.
  • Indirect representation – where the agent enters goods on your behalf, in their own name. With this option, you’re jointly liable for any customs debt due to errors.

Make sure you give clear written instructions for the goods to be entered, and double check any

paperwork. If you’re a depositor and your agent is entering your goods into a public warehouse, you must check the paperwork your agent sends to the warehouse-keeper is correct.

Three reasons to use a customs warehouse…

If you’re not sure whether bonded warehousing is right for your business, here are three reasons why you should consider it.

1) Improved cash flow

Putting off the payment of duty until goods have been purchased can have a positive impact on cash flow. By storing your goods in a bonded warehouse, you’ll only pay the import-duty when they enter the UK market, so if you have any difficulty shifting your products, you won’t be out of pocket by paying the taxes up front when you’ve no guarantee of sales to recoup the costs. With bonded warehousing, all goods are classed as duty suspended, which avoids advance duty payment on products that may remain in stock for months.

2) No import duty if you’re exporting the goods

If you’re importing to export to non-EU countries, then using a bonded warehouse is a no-brainer. Keeping your goods in a bonded warehouse means you won’t have to pay any import-duty on products you export, saving both time and money. This means a business can avoid paying duty twice, providing typical savings of around 25-30%. It’s also worth noting that if your goods need to be destroyed without being sold, you won’t have to pay the import duty on them.

3) Port-centric logistics

Most bonded warehouses are located at or very close to ports (John Good, for example, has a bonded warehouse at the Port of Felixstowe), which means you can store your goods at the port of entry and distribute them as and when required. This reduces costs across the entire supply chain thanks to reduced lead times, reduced potential for damage, significant savings in transport costs and lower carbon emissions.

Will Brexit have any impact on customs clearance and bonded warehousing?

I am not sure anyone, including HMRC themselves, know what the effect of Brexit will cause, however, it is unlikely that the area of free trade will increase therefore the advantages of bonded warehousing will increase to more regions and products.

Stuart Gosling, Director, Felixstowe Warehousing & John Good Shipping