How can goods be handled during warehousing?

Under certain circumstances goods stored in a customs warehouse can be handled, moved out of the customs warehouse temporarily or replaced by equivalent goods. Goods placed under a customs warehousing procedure may undergo forms of handling intended to preserve them, improve their appearance or marketable quality or prepare them for distribution or resale. These forms of actions are called usual forms of handling. With Customs’ permission, the goods can temporarily be moved from the customs warehouse for handling.

The handling must not change the nature or affect the performance of the original goods. Apart from some exceptions, the eight-digit subheading of the goods must remain the same. No separate authorisation has to be applied for regarding usual forms of handling, but an entry has to be made in the warehouse records regarding the handling. If the commodity code of the goods is changed as a result of the handling, the new code has to be entered into the records.

The list of permitted usual forms of handling can be found in Annex 71–03 of the Delegated Regulation.

Usual handling can for example be

  • elementary repairs of damage incurred during transport or storage
  • change of packing
  • affixing price tags or other similar distinguishing signs
  • testing machines or apparatus in order to control the compliance with technical standards, if only simple operations are involved
  • denaturing, even if this results in a different eight-digit CN code.

If the intended handling changes the nature of the goods in such a way that the handled apparatus no longer works independently, the handling cannot be carried out as a usual form of handling. In these cases, the handling must be carried out under the inward processing procedure.

If a usual form of handling cannot be carried out in the warehouse facilities, the goods can temporarily be move out of the customs warehouse facility with a separate authorisation. These forms of handling can e.g. be repairing small damages received during transport, antiparasitic treatment or cutting fabric to length.

Equivalent goods are Union goods, which are stored instead of the goods placed under the customs warehousing procedure. Using equivalent goods requires an authorisation and some product groups are restricted.

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