Customs Warehouses

  • The warehouse licensing system which is administered by Australia Customs,provides owners of imported goods with the ability to defer the payment of Customs duty.Until they are ready to enter the goods for home consumption or pay the duty & taxes on their imported goods.

    Importers are able to store the goods in a warehouse licensed under section 79 of the Customs Act 1901. The goods held in a customs warehouse are under Customs control .Until such time as the goods are entered for home consumption and the Customs duty is paid, or the goods are exported overseas.

    Goods held in this manner are referred to as “under bond” – which  means customs duty is payable but is not yet paid .Warehouse licences are usually granted for the storing of general goods or goods of a specific type, for example alcohol or tobacco.
    Customs warehouses generally operate at the wholesale level.

    However duty-free shops are a special kind of warehouse that are specifically permitted to operate at the retail level.Duty free shops are able to sell goods free of Customs duty, Goods and Services Tax and,where applicable, Wine Equalization Tax, to international travelers.

    Import and warehouse declarations

    You or your broker must lodge all import and warehouse declarations with Australian Customs using the Integrated Cargo System (ICS) or  on an approved customs form.
    This will allow you to move your  imported goods into, a licensed customs warehouse .The N20 entry form authorizes the movement of the goods from the wharf or airport to the licensed customs warehouse and defers payment of customs duty.

    To clear the imported goods from the customs warehouse you need to lodge an Import Declaration out of Warehouse form (N30)and pay customs duty , for you to able to
    deliver your imported goods into the Australian domestic market.

    Application for a warehouse licence

    The Warehouse Licence applications are to be submitted to Australian Customs.We suggest you contact the Licensing Group@ Customs to obtain a copy of an application form. Each application must contain full details about the premises to be licensed, and the person or group seeking the licence.

    Details required must include:
    • the types of goods to be stored
    • proposed activities within the warehouse
    • physical security of goods in the warehouse
    • electronic systems used to account for goods while under Customs control.

    All personnel who are involved in the management and or control of the warehouse will be subject to a ‘fit and proper person’ check by Australian Customs.

    Warehouse Licence fees

    Warehouse licence holders are required to pay an annual fee of A$4000 (that can be paid quarterly). A documentary or cash security is also required the amount of which, is dependent on the number of warehouses operated and the duty liability of the goods being stored in the warehouses.

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