November 28, 2022

Bonded Warehouses: What Are They, And Why Do You Need One?

A bonded warehouse is a storage facility where goods can be stored and handled without being subject to customs duties and taxes. To use a bonded warehouse, you must have an approved Customs Warehouse Bond. Here's what you need to know about bonded warehouses and how they can benefit your business.

What Is A Bonded Warehouse, And What Does It Do?

A customs-bonded warehouse is where companies put up the goods to be shipped before they are sent to the customs department for international shipping. The goods stay in the warehouse until the inspections before international shipping are done, and the customs duties are paid. There are many types of bonded warehouses from which you can operate. This is all there is to bonded warehouse meaning. 

How Bonded Warehousing Works

Now that you know what bonded warehouses are, let us know how they work. Goods are imported into the bonded warehouse, and the proprietor and importer take up the liability with a warehouse bond that shares weakness. The costs linked with the goods are deferred until the bonded goods are ready to leave and fully processed for delivery. The goods are then stored and assembled. Later, the goods are sent to the next destination or fulfilled by the customer. Bonded storage and bonded warehousing help maintain international businesses for many companies. 

How Can A Bonded Warehouse Help Your Business Save Money And Time?

Bonded warehouses help companies save money and time because they order many products simultaneously. Bonded warehouses allow you to store many products and manage customs duties' payments flexibly. You can easily store large consignments and sign bonds instead of paying it all. Moreover, you can also use these bonded warehouses' in-house fulfillment services to save money and staff investment. 

Related: 3 Tips to Choosing the Best Warehouse Solution as a Small Business

Benefits Of Using A Bonded Warehouse For Your Business

Provide Greater Flexibility

Businesses of all sizes can benefit from using a bonded warehouse for their warehousing needs. Bonded warehouses provide greater flexibility for storing any product or material. They also offer more security than regular warehouses, as the contents of the bonded warehouse are not subject to inspection or taxation until they leave the premises. Businesses can store goods in bulk without worrying about prematurely applying taxes or duties. 

Streamline Shipping Processes

Bonded warehouses streamline the process of shipping goods by providing a secure space to store them until they are ready to be shipped. Businesses can save time and money on shipping costs by taking advantage of bonded warehousing services, as there is no need for additional transportation or storage costs. This makes it easier for businesses to ship large orders more quickly and efficiently.

Reduce Expenses

Using a bonded warehouse can help businesses reduce their overhead costs, as they don't have to pay taxes or duties on stored merchandise until it is shipped out. Companies can store their goods in bulk without worrying about extra expenses due to unexpected tariffs and fees. Furthermore, bonded warehouses often offer additional services, such as order fulfillment, which can help businesses save time and money. 

Increase Supply Chain Efficiency

By utilizing bonded warehouses, businesses can increase their supply chain efficiency by reducing inventory costs and improving turnaround times on orders. Bonded warehouses make it easier for companies to store goods in bulk and ship them out quickly when needed. This helps to keep the business's supply chain running smoothly and increases overall customer satisfaction.

How To Find The Right Bonded Warehouse For Your Company's Needs

To find the right kind of bonded warehouse for your company's needs, you can search for one near the location where you operate your international business. Another type of warehouse that you need to use is the one that has fulfillment services in it. With fulfillment services, it will be able to support your international business very well.  

Related: How to Optimize Your Warehouse Slotting for Efficiency?

Bonded Warehousing FAQS

How do I find a bonded warehouse?

You will mostly find a bonded warehouse near a good port city in the country you want to operate in. 

How Do I Get A License For Bonded Warehousing?

Getting a bonded warehousing license is simple but requires time and effort. Here are the steps you need to take:

1. Check if your business is eligible for a bonded warehouse license. To be eligible, your company must be engaged in foreign trade and have a permanent establishment in the United States.

2. Complete an application for a bonded warehouse license. The application can be found on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website.

3. Gather all required documentation, including proof of company ownership, articles of incorporation or organization, a lease or deed for the warehouse's property, copies of your federal excise tax registration, and an IRS Form 4506-T.

4. Apply any necessary documents to CBP to register your business as a bonded warehouse.

5. Once approved, you will receive a certificate of bonding that must be kept on file at your warehouse at all times.

6. Lastly, make sure you are compliant with all of the regulations and requirements set forth by CBP for maintaining a bonded warehouse license. This includes keeping detailed records of all transactions and inventory levels, properly labeling items, storing goods safely and securely, and providing proper documentation for imports or exports from the warehouse location. 

By following these steps carefully, you should have no trouble getting your bonded warehousing license in no time.

How do I ship goods to a bonded warehouse?

You'll need to complete a few steps to ship goods to a bonded warehouse.

First, you'll need to get approval from Customs to use the bonded warehouse. You can do this by applying for a "Bonded Warehouse Entry." The application will ask for information about your business and the goods you plan to store in the bonded warehouse.

Once approved, you'll need to find a bonded warehouse that meets your needs. There are several things to consider when choosing a bonded warehouse, such as location, services offered, and storage capacity. Once you've found a suitable bonded warehouse, you'll need to complete some paperwork and pay a security deposit. This paperwork includes an inventory list of all the goods you plan to store in the warehouse.

When ready to ship your goods, ensure they're properly packed and labeled. You'll need a customs entry form to list all the items being shipped. Then, you can arrange for shipping with a bonded carrier or another approved carrier.

Once your shipment has arrived at the bonded warehouse, it is stored securely until needed. It can be released by Customs when requested or upon payment of applicable duties and taxes. Depending on your needs, you can move the goods out of the warehouse without paying duties and taxes first.

Finally, once you no longer need the bonded warehouse services, terminate your agreement with Customs. This will involve submitting paperwork and paying any remaining fees.


How do I store goods in a bonded warehouse?

Goods can be stored in a bonded warehouse in two ways:

1) Duty-paid goods entered the warehouse and were cleared for release by customs. The duty and taxes on these goods have already been paid, so there is no need to pay them again when the goods are released from the warehouse.

2) Duty-suspended goods not entered into the warehouse and cleared for release by customs. These goods are stored in the bonded warehouse under suspension of duty and tax payments. The duty and taxes must be paid when the goods are released from the warehouse. However, if the goods are re-exported from the warehouse, they may be exempt from payment of duty and taxes. It is important to note that proper documentation must be provided when releasing goods from a bonded warehouse or re-exporting them to obtain an exemption or deferral of duties. It would help if you appropriately documented any changes to the merchandise stored in the warehouse. 

Finally, before any goods can be released from a bonded warehouse, You must first lodge all relevant paperwork and customs declarations with customs authorities. This includes information such as entry documents detailing the origin of the goods, the type of product, the value of the shipment, and other details that will help customs officers determine compliance with applicable laws and regulations. These documents must be accurate and complete to avoid delays or penalties during customs clearance. Only when all documentation is correctly lodged and accepted by customs can goods be released from the bonded warehouse.

What are the customs regulations for bonded warehousing?

A bonded warehouse is a customs-approved facility where goods can be stored, manipulated, and inspected without incurring customs duties and taxes. The regulations for bonded warehousing vary by country, but in general, the following applies:

1. The goods must be imported into the country and enter the bonded warehouse within a specific timeframe (usually a few days).

2. The goods must be used for international trade and not for domestic consumption.

3. The goods must be exported from the country within a specific timeframe (usually within a year).

4. The warehouse owner must file regular reports with customs detailing the movement of the goods in and out of the warehouse.

5. Duty and tax are only paid when the goods are removed from the warehouse.

6. Sometimes, duty and tax can be deferred until the goods are sold or exported to a third country. 

7. The bonded warehouse must provide security against theft or damage of goods in storage. 

8. The bonded warehouse must comply with all applicable health and safety regulations. 

9. The bonded warehouse is responsible for any errors in processing shipments, such as incorrect labeling or classifying goods for customs purposes. 

10. Finally, proper records must be kept regarding all activity within the bonded warehouse, including details about items entering and leaving the facility and any changes made to them during their time in storage.

Related: Types of Warehouse Management Systems


A bonded warehouse can be a valuable asset for your business. It can save you time and money by allowing you to store your goods securely without paying import duties or taxes. To get the most out of your bonded warehouse, choosing the suitable facility for your needs is essential. Our team at Conveyr can help you find the perfect bonded warehouse for your business. We build the tools 3PLs use to compete and win new business. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you grow your business.

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