When importing from a region outside the European Union, many individuals make use of temporary storage facilities for storing goods under the supervision of customs prior to being released in favour of free circulation, exported outside EU or placed under special procedure. While putting cargo inside any temporary storage, it is imperative to complete a relevant declaration for presenting to authorities, with the help of an electronic inventory system approved by customs. Doing so aids in deferring the whole tax payment and customs declaration till the termination of permitted storage timespan.
In general, goods are allowed to be kept for not more than 90 days in any temporary storage. If anybody fails to remove their cargo before the expiry date, they must pay duty and VAT, and also a penalty at times.Goods stored temporarily are usually required to be kept on the premises situated either within an airport or seaport, or outside a sea or airport. In order to apply for temporary storage, an individual or group must be involved in movement of cargo imported from anywhere outside EU as:
- a provider of freight forwarding services
- a customs agent
- a transport company
- a warehouse keeper
Also, any temporary storage facility has to obtain approval from the Border Force as well as:
- meet requisites of national safety and health at the work legislation
- be maintained and secure with good repair
- have appropriate electronic records of inventory stock approved by customs
- be suitable to store, load, examine and sample goods
Approved facilities for short-term storage are regarded normally as a part of UK border. The primary kinds of storage facilities include –
- internal temporary
- Internal temporary and remote
- external temporary
- external temporary and approved depository
- These facilities may include unshedded areas and tanks also.
When it comes to handling within a temporary storage facility, EU legislation limits only that which is required for ensuring preservation of goods, in unaltered state and without modification of their technical characteristics or appearance. Break up of individual packages is also strictly prohibited, unless deemed necessary for important preservation or examination purposes. Each and every good covered by temporary storage declaration, be it loaded or unloaded, has to be re-presented completely intact. It can be unpacked only when all goods are cleared to customs, released to circulate freely or re-exported.
In general, some types of cargo such as firearms and foodstuffs are subject to specific controls and licenses as well.