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Warehousing is the practice or business of storing, holding and handling goods in a warehouse. A Customs Bonded warehouse is a warehouse licensed by the Commissioner of Customs for the storage of goods imported into the region pending the payment of duties. The goods are stored in the joint custody of the bonded warehouse keeper and Customs. Below is a brief on bonded warehouse operations.

Q: What are the benefits of using a Customs Bonded Warehouse?
The benefits of using a customs bonded warehouse are:

On-site storage;

Just-in-time delivery for both manufacture and general trade;

Less cash tied up in duties and taxes;

Deferred payment  of taxes

Q: How many types of bonded warehouses are there?
There are two (2) types of bonded warehouses. They are Private and Public bonded warehouses. The private warehouses are licensed for the storage of the licensee’s goods while the general bonded warehouses are licensed to store goods for all traders.

Q: What is the licensing procedure?
To be licensed, the applicant should make an application to the commissioner on Form C22 accompanied by a plan of the premises and its situation or location. The license will be issued on payment of the prescribed license fee if the Commissioner is  satisfied that, the situation, construction of and accommodation in the premises proposed are suitable for use as a bonded warehouse.  An annual license fee of US$1500 will be charged

Q: Is the bonded warehouse license transferable?
No, the bonded warehouse license is not transferable.

Q: What records should be kept at the bonded warehouse?
The records kept in a bonded warehouse include but are not limited to; the name of the aircraft/vessel or the registration number of the vehicle which imported the goods as the case may be, the name of the importer, number of packages, value and particulars of the goods. In case of post parcel articles, the post parcel reference number will also be included.

Q: Can imported goods be cleared through Customs into a warehouse pending payment of duty?
Yes goods can be cleared into a Customs bonded warehouse or government warehouse against a security bond which covers the duty liability.

Q: What type of goods can be warehoused? (Reg. 64)
All goods can be warehoused except for: arms, ammunitions  and Acids for trade and business, explosives, chalk, fireworks, dried fish, perishable goods, duty free goods,   combustible or inflammable goods excluding petroleum products, matches other than safety matches and any other gods which the Commissioner may gazette.

Q: What are the procedures for warehousing of goods?
Goods imported for warehousing must be declared using the Form C17, supported by invoice, BL and any other relevant documents. Execute a security bond for the duty port of entry to the warehouse.

Q: In how many days should goods be delivered to the bonded warehouse from the port?
Goods should be delivered to the bonded warehouse within fourteen days from the date of entry.

Q: Are there any exceptions to the 14 day requirement?
Yes there are. In the case of bulk cargo or goods destined to a location far away from the port of discharge the Commissioner may allow for such longer period not exceeding forty- five days.

Q: What can we do with warehoused goods?
Warehoused goods can be:

Declared for home consumption, through payment of duty,

Exported against a security bond to cater for the duty that would otherwise be due on these gods.

Transferred to another bonded  warehouse, against a security bond.

Used as stores for aircraft or vessels,

Re-warehoused, transferred to an export processing zone or transfer to a free port.

Repacked, skipped, lotted, sorted, bulked or packed.

Transferred to a new owner if requested for in writing and signed by both parties.

Q: How else can goods in a bonded warehouse treated?
The proper officer may re-value, re-gauge, re-weigh or take stock of any warehoused goods. Duties payable shall be based on the appraisal.

Q: Can goods be removed from a bonded  warehouse without payment of duties?
Yes, the owner of imported goods may remove goods from the bonded warehouse without payment of duties, for exhibition, testing, ship stores against a security bond, on request and approval by the proper officer.

Q: What is required to move goods from a bonded warehouse to other bonded warehouses?
A security bond must be executed for the movement of goods from a bonded warehouse to another customs controlled area.

Q: Can warehoused goods be delivered as ship store?
Yes but with the exception ship stores to vessels less than 250 tons.

Q: What happens to warehoused goods that are abandoned?
The commissioner may allow warehoused goods to be abandoned to customs by the importer, who will pay for warehouse rent and any other charges due.


Q: Can manufacturing take place in a bonded warehouse?
Yes manufacturing can take place in a bonded warehouse licensed to manufacture. This facility is known as an MUB (Manufacture Under Bond).

Q: How are products manufactured in a bonded warehouse treated?
Where the finished product is declared for home consumption, duty is payable on the imported components forming the manufactured product.

Q: How about products from crude oils (Sec 51 (d) ii)?
Duties shall be charged on the resultant volume of the blend at the time of entry for home consumption and shall be the same as that which would be payable on the importation of similar goods.


Q: For how long can goods be warehoused?
Warehousing period is three months. However, with the written permission of the Commissioner, the goods may be re-warehoused for a further three months.

Q: Can goods be kept for more than 3 months?
Yes, the commissioner may allow further warehousing period as he/she may deem fit for the following items: wines and spirit in bulk warehoused by a licensed manufacturer, goods in a duty free shop and new motor vehicles imported by approved assemblers or dealers