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15November 2011

Customs Attorney: The Bonded Warehouse

What is a bonded warehouse?

Customs bonded warehouses are licensed warehouses that satisfy strict security regulations. It is within bonded warehouses that goods may enter the United States but are not considered “cleared” through customs. Merchandise in a bonded warehouse is considered still to be in Customs custody and duties do not have to be paid.

What are its advantages?

1. Customs duties do not have to be withdrawn until goods are released from the warehouse.

2. Duty rates that are applied are based on the time the goods are released not the time that they enter into the bonded warehouse.

3. No duty is paid if the goods are exported (so no need for drawback claim – to be discussed in another blog entry).

4. Merchandise can remain in a bonded warehouse for up to 5 years from the date of importation.

5. Manipulation of goods within warehouse is LIMITED to: cleaning, sorting, packing, repacking which are not considered manufacturing.

Happy Importing 🙂

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