Upon entry in the customs territory of the European Union (EU), non-Union goods that are not intended to remain in the EU or that are waiting for their final importation, may be stored under duties and taxes suspension.
For example: electronic components of Chinese origin delivered in Luxembourg, but whose customer is not yet known.
For example: watches manufactured in the United States of America, delivered in Luxembourg, that will be mostly sold outside of the EU.
During their storage under duties and taxes suspension, the goods may only be handled or processed to provide for their conservation or prepare for packaging. In the case of a more significant intervention, the use of an inward processing procedure is necessary.
The company may choose to store goods in a customs warehouse or in a free zone.
Goods awaiting placement in a customs procedure or for re-shipping outside of the EU customs territory may be kept in temporary storage for maximum 90 days.
Customs warehouse (for any type of goods)
There are several customs warehouses in Luxembourg, that are private warehouses.
A customs warehouse is used to store non-Union goods for an unlimited time. The placing of goods in a customs warehouse requires a customs declaration.
A company that wishes to store non-Union goods in a customs warehouse must request authorization from the Customs and Excise Administration. A guarantee covering the suspended duties and taxes has to be filed with the Customs Administration.
Note: retail sale of goods placed in a customs warehouse is prohibited. Retail sale for distance selling, including via the Internet, is allowed.
Free zone (for valuable goods)
There is a free zone in Luxembourg, near the Luxembourg airport, that is operated by a private operator. It allows secured storage of valuable goods.
A free zone allows storage of non-Union goods under duties and taxes suspension for an unlimited time. Union goods may also be stored there but they are not considered as being placed under the customs free zone procedure.
A customs declaration is not needed to bring goods into a free zone. The implementation of the VAT suspensive arrangement in a free zone, however, requires entry and exit notifications.
On exit from a free zone, non-Union goods will be placed in another customs procedure depending on their destination (release for free circulation, transit, customs warehouse or inward processing) or re-exported outside of the EU customs territory.
An operator who wishes to conduct a commercial, industrial or service activity in the free zone must first have authorization from the Customs and Excise Administration. Unlike a customs warehouse, no guarantee is required in the free zone, except for certain goods (excise goods).
Temporary storage in a Temporary Storage Facility (TSF) is used to store non-Union goods for a maximum duration of 90 days, in view of placing them at a later time in a customs procedure, or re-exporting them outside of the EU customs territory.
Temporary storage concerns goods:
- that just arrived in the EU customs territory
- or that come from another temporary storage facility.
On exit from the TSF, the goods:
- are moved to another TSF
- are placed in a customs procedure (release for free circulation, transit, customs warehouse, free zone, or inward processing)
- or re-exported outside of the EU customs territory.
The duration of storage in temporary storage cannot exceed 90 days, even in the case of a transfer from one TSF to another.
A company that wishes to store non-Union goods in temporary storage in a TSF must request authorization from the Customs and Excise Administration. A guarantee covering the suspended duties and taxes has to be put in place.
Note: at the time of the customs declaration, the goods are physically presented to customs for control in the TSF. It is possible for regular Luxembourg importers to create a TSF in their premises to facilitate the physical management of the import flows. This supposes however that the Customs Administration does not have to put in place an administrative procedure disproportionate with respect to the economic gain of the TSF.