What is a bonded warehouse?

Supply Chain

What is a bonded warehouse?

A bonded warehouse (alternatively known as a customs bonded warehouse or customs warehouse), is a secure space in which imported goods can be stored under customs control without payment of duty. The primary purpose of this is to provide temporary storage for imported goods before they are released for consumption. Goods stored within a bonded warehouse can undergo various activities while in storage. These activities may include value-added services such as repackaging, sorting, labelling, quality control inspections or manufacturing. A bonded warehouse provides a controlled environment for all of these operations to take place.

Bonded Warehousing at Elanders

At Elanders we have both customs warehouses and dedicated wet bonded warehousing facilities in the UK (Excise warehouses), which operate with a range of products and suppliers within the premium spirits industry. This allows the spirits to be stored without being charged domestic duty until the products are sold. Our warehouse experts are fully trained in how to appropriately store, pick, and despatch alcoholic products, with detailed knowledge of the trends and changes the alcohol industry experiences during the calendar year.

As of June 2023, Elanders joined the BWA (Bonded Warehousekeepers Association) as a member to ensure that both our customers and ourselves stay up to date with the latest relevant information related to Customs and Excise warehousing.

Key Benefits

Flexibility in importing and exporting- A bonded warehouse can enable streamlined supply chain operations. Goods can be imported into a warehouse and then stored until they are needed for shipping to customers, allowing you to plan your inventory and distribution more effectively.

Inventory Management- Storing your products in a bonded warehouse allows you to have better control over your inventory management process. You can monitor and track the movement of your products within the warehouse through enhanced WMS functionality, minimising the chances of stockouts and lowering your storage costs. This will allow your inventory to be at its optimum level and help to save on unnecessary costs.

Improve Supply Chain Efficiency- By utilising a bonded warehouse you can take advantage of simplified procedures, optimised inventory management and ensure compliance with customs regulations. It can also majorly help improve customer satisfaction allowing you to store your products ahead of seasonal peaks. This means you can be responsive and agile with these increased demands, saving the stress of late deliveries and running out of specific stock.

Cost Savings- With a bonded warehouse no initial duty payment is required when goods enter the facility. You can defer duty and VAT payments and then pay once the goods have been picked and packed for shipping, improving your cash flow. Working with a provider that can offer you streamlined operations and improved inventory management can result in lower operating costs allowing your business to use your spending more efficiently. Less money will also be spent on the transportation of your goods due to dispersed warehouses situated across the country.

Keep Products Safe and Secure– Bonded warehouses have strict security measures in place to ensure the safety of products within the facility, this can be 24/7 surveillance or certain certifications. Under the supervision of highly trained warehouse operators, all products are fully documented and go through regular procedures, auditing and assessments, reducing the risk of errors or penalties. These measures assure the safety and protection of your goods meaning you can continue to focus on the core of your business.