What is a bonded warehouse?

Think that all warehouses are the same? Think again. Whilst you might be aware of the standard warehouse that stores simply hold food stuffs, furniture and general day to day items there is a special type of warehouse that sits outside of these normal boundaries. These are the Bonded warehouses. They need specialist Bonded Warehouse Management to run them because of the things that they store inside. Sound mysterious? It’s really not that strange. Bonded warehouses hold imported items that have to pay excise and duty and VAT. They are generally very expensive things and are subject to very different rules than normal goods.

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There is basically a lot more security involved when storing them. For example, if you fancy wandering around one on a visit (unlikely) then a member of staff has to accompany you around the whole place and never leave you.

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Two of the most popular products, and then most common are beers, wines and spirits plus cigarettes. All that of the French, Brazilian, Australian wines etc that you can buy will have once sat in a nicely temperature controlled Bonded warehouse. If you smoke (a decreasing number to be sure) then they’ve spent time in a bonded warehouse first as well. Eventually the buyers from supermarkets and tobacco suppliers get to go in and make their selections once the duty is paid and the products can be released.

Sometimes they act as a holding area in case there is the need for a deferred payment or they are waiting for the tax levels to change.

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