With the customs warehousing procedure, goods from countries outside the European Union (EU) can be stored in warehouses within the customs territory of the EU without incurring customs duties, other import duties or tax payments. They are only due when they are removed from the warehouse. During storage – which must take at least 30 days, but is unlimited in time – customs monitors the premises. According to EU law, there are public and private customs warehouses.
Basically, in the customs warehousing process, it is only permitted to store the goods. However, simple tasks such as taking samples or filling the goods are possible, as is active refinement. However, this must be approved by customs. It is also allowed to remove the goods from the warehouse for a short time.
If the goods leave the warehouse to be exported again or released for free circulation within the EU, a customs procedure follows. Only now are customs duties and other import duties due.
Companies have certain advantages that the customs debt does not have to be paid directly with the import, but only when the goods leave the customs warehouse. For example, they can buy raw materials or primary products from third countries cheaply in large quantities and gradually remove them from the warehouse whenever they are needed for production.