What are customs warehouses?
Two types of warehouse facilities may be licensed under CBSA : sufferance warehouses and bonded warehouses.
Sufferance warehouses are facilities licensed by the CBSA. The warehouses are operated by private owners. Pending the examination and release, imported goods are stored for short terms purposes. The time limit to store the imported goods, pending customs duties and taxes payment, is a maximum of 42 days. The warehouses may be operated by a cargo handler acting on behalf of an exclusive agent. The cargo handlers may be intermediary of carrier’s agent (including public carriers). When issuing licences, CBSA checks to see if facilities, equipments or accommodations meet regulatory or operational requirements. The importer may claim his goods from the warehouse upon release by CBSA.
Bonded warehouses provide long term storage for a maximum period of four (4) years. Stored merchandise benefit from a complete deferral of all duties (including taxes). Both imported and domestic goods may be stored in a bonded warehouse if they are destined for export and kept as inventory for goods production. Inventory must properly be accounted for and all entrance and departure of goods must be declared to CBSA.