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Customs Bonded Warehouse

Jun 30, 2022Basics of Importing

Customs Bonded Warehouse

Customs bonded warehouses are a type of storage facility in which imported goods may be stored for up to five years without paying customs duty. These warehouses are operated by private businesses, who must post a bond to the federal government in order to cover any potential liabilities associated with the stored goods. Customs duties only become applicable when the goods are removed from the warehouse for certain purposes, such as export or consumption within the United States.

Bonded warehouses provide an important service for businesses engaged in international trade, as they allow for the temporary storage of goods without incurring taxes or other fees. This can be helpful in situations where it may take some time to arrange for export or final sale of the merchandise. In addition, bonded warehouses can be used to store goods that will eventually be exported, allowing businesses to avoid paying import duties twice on the same merchandise.

Customs bonded warehouses are just one type of storage facility that is regulated by the US Customs and Border Protection agency. If you are involved in international trade, it is important to familiarize yourself with the various types of storage options available, as well as the rules and regulations governing each one. By understanding your storage options and knowing the applicable laws, you can ensure that your business is operating in compliance with all relevant regulations.

Customs bonded warehouses play an important role in international trade by allowing businesses to store their goods securely and without paying duties. These facilities also help manage inventory and cash flow on behalf of the importer. In addition to simply storing cargo, customs bonded warehouses facilitate the import of goods without suffering the consequences of custom delays or when delivery of goods takes longer than usual due to ongoing negotiations.

Customs bonded warehouses are important for importers because they ensure the security of their containers and goods, provide duty-free storage, and offer safe storage for their merchandise. By using a customs bonded warehouse, importers can avoid costly delays and disruptions in their supply chain.

How customs bonded warehouse work

A customs bonded warehouse is a secured facility for storing goods imported into the US. The importer and the warehouse proprietor are legally bound by a bond to incur all financial and legal liabilities from the moment the goods enter the warehouse.

In this way, the importer gets time to arrange the funds needed to pay customs duties while the goods remain secure and safe within the facility. The importer can even transfer the title of goods placed in the warehouse to another person (buyer), who can then pay the customs duties and gain custody and ownership of the goods.

The biggest benefit for importers using customs bonded warehouse facilities is that they can store the goods that are not yet cleared by the customs and avoid paying costly container demurrage or advance customs duties. Customs bonded warehouses provide a crucial service for importers, and understanding how they work is important for anyone in the shipping industry.

Usefulness of Customs Bonded Warehouses to Importers

Bonded warehouses offer many benefits to importers, including the ability to defer revenue and customs payments, as well as long-term and affordable storage solutions. In addition, bonded warehouses provide security for stored goods, as they are regulated by the CBP.

If you are considering using a customs bonded warehouse for your importing needs, contact a licensed customs broker to learn more about the process and what options are available to you.


Customs bonded warehouses offer many benefits to importers, including long-term storage, the ability to defer duties, hassle-free storage of restricted goods, and easy international shipping.

A customs bonded warehouse is a facility where imported goods are stored under the supervision of Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Goods can be stored in a CBW for up to five years without paying duties. This provides a big advantage for importers who need long-term storage.

Another benefit of using a CBW is the ability to defer duties. Duties are not paid on goods until they are removed from the warehouse, which gives importers more time to complete import-related documentation and legal work. In addition, CBWs are exempt from the probation period for restricted goods, so importers can complete the necessary paperwork without having to worry about strict timelines.

Customs bonded warehouses also make international shipping easier. After goods are imported into the US, they can be stored in the warehouse until they are ready to be shipped to another country. This is a convenient option for businesses that regularly ship internationally.

Overall, customs bonded warehouses offer many benefits that can be extremely helpful for importers. If you are considering using a CBW for your business, be sure to take advantage of all the benefits it has to offer.

Customs Bonded Warehouses vs Non-bonded Warehouses

As an importer, it’s important to know the difference between customs bonded warehouses and non-bonded warehouses. Customs bonded warehouses are secure places to store goods where you only have to pay customs duties when the goods are shifted from the storage facility. This is a convenient option for entrepreneurs who are new to international trade business. On the other hand, non-bonded warehouses are storage spaces for duty-paid goods that are supervised by port authorities. These warehouses are typically used by importers who want to sell the goods in domestic markets instead of re-exporting them.

So, what are the key differences between customs bonded warehouses and non-bonded warehouses? Customs bonded warehouses offer the convenience of long-term storage, while non-bonded warehouses do not. Also, in a customs bonded warehouse, the imported goods must be inspected and approved by the customs before they can be delivered to a specific destination. In contrast, there is no such requirement for goods stored in a non-bonded warehouse. Finally, importers using a customs bonded warehouse are exempt from the timeframe restriction for holding any restricted goods, whereas those using a non-bonded warehouse are not.

Overall, customs bonded warehouses are more importer-friendly than non-bonded warehouses. If you’re looking for a hassle-free storage option with several convenient features, a customs bonded warehouse is the way to go.

Customs Bonded Warehouses vs Free Trade Zone

When it comes to storing goods before duty is paid, there are two main options: customs bonded warehouses and free trade zone (FTZ) warehouses. So, what’s the difference between the two?

Customs bonded warehouses offer a highly secure storage environment for goods before the payment of duty. Here, the duty is paid only when the goods are shifted from the warehouse for distribution. Goods stored in customs bonded warehouses have to go through the conventional customs processes.

FTZ warehouses are located in special areas within the US, classified as outside of US Customs territory. Goods stored in an FTZ warehouse can be shifted without going through the formal customs entry procedures, and without the payment of customs duty. Customs duty is only paid when the goods are finally sold in the US market.

Both customs bonded warehouses and FTZ warehouses have their own set of benefits and drawbacks, and the decision of which storage option to go for depends on various factors such as the type of product, its intended use, etc.

Products that are subject to frequent changes in Customs value or those that need special Customs handling procedures are better off stored in Customs bonded warehouses. On the other hand, products that are not subject to frequent changes in value and don’t need any special handling procedures can be stored in an FTZ warehouse.

It is important to note that while products stored in an FTZ warehouse don’t attract Customs duty, they are still subject to other Federal taxes such as excise duty.

Customs bonded warehouse rules and regulations

Customs rules and regulations related to the setting up and operation of customs bonded warehouses are stated in Customs Duties (Title 19) and Customs Warehouses (Part 19) of the Code of Federal Regulations. Some key rules and regulations that importers and all users of custom bonded warehouse facilities need to be aware of are as follows:

  • All goods are subject to duty except for perishables and explosive substances other than firecrackers.
  • All goods except for duty-free goods may be stored in the retail sales facility of a warehouse.
  • The goods can be sold to individuals departing from the United States.
  • There must accountability for all goods that enter the warehouse with an inventory list being created and records being audited on a regular basis.
  • Bonded goods and domestic goods must be kept separately and should not mix with un-bonded goods.
  • Goods from one warehouse facility may be transferred to another based on the provisions provided for in Customs Regulations.
  • Under Title 19, USC, section 1562, goods stored in a customs bonded warehouse (other than Class 6 or 7 warehouses) can have additional processes done to them such as being cleaned, sorted, repackaged, and changes can be made to its condition. However, they cannot be manufactured.
  • Goods manufactured in a Class 6 warehouse (except cigars made from imported tobacco) must be exported in strict adherence to Customs Regulations.
  • Waste or byproduct from a Class 6 warehouse may be withdrawn for consumption but only after payment of the necessary duties.
  • All imported goods may be stored in a customs bonded warehouse for up to five years.

Customs bonded warehouses provide an opportunity for those importing goods into the United States to store their merchandise duty-free for a certain period of time. It is important to be familiar with the customs rules and regulations surrounding these warehouses in order to take advantage of this storage option while staying in compliance with the law.


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