The importers who do not intend clearing the imported goods for "home consumption" straightaway, may choose to warehouse the goods i.e. store the goods under customs control or custody, and clear the same subsequently either wholly or in part, in piecemeal, on payment of customs duty due.
Warehouse could be appointed or licensed as 'public' under section 57 of the customs act or a 'private' under section 58 of the act. Only those places are called warehouses that are declared by the Central board of Excise and Customs to be 'warehousing stations' by means of notification in the official gazette. Sections 57 to 72 of the act deals with the various provisions related to ware housing of imported goods:
- Appointing of public warehouses
- Licensing of a private warehouses
- Warehousing bond
- Conditions for warehousing of certain goods
- Permission for deposit of goods in a warehouse
- Period for which goods may be remain warehoused
- Control over warehoused goods
- Payment of rent and warehouse charges
- Owner's right to deal with warehoused goods
- Manufacture and other operations in relation to goods in a warehouse
- Power to exempt imported materials used in the manufacture of goods in warehouse
- Removal of goods from one warehouse to another
- Clearance of warehoused goods for home consumption
- Clearance of warehoused goods for exportation
- Allowance for taking out / removal of goods from warehouse
Period for which goods may remain warehoused:
- In case of capital goods intended for use in any hundred per cent export oriented under taking, till the expiry of five years. In the case of any other goods, till the expiry of one year.
- These provisions do not apply on goods, which are likely to deteriorate. If the goods are likely to deteriorate, then the aforesaid period of one year may be reduced by the Commissioner of customs to such shorter period as he may deem fit.
- The time period may be increased for a period of six months by the Commissioner of customs and by the Chief Commissioner of Customs for such further period as he may deem fit in case of non-deteriorating goods.
- If the goods remain in the warehouse for a period more than that specified then interest at rate as provide in section 47 has to be paid.
- When the licence for any private warehouse is cancelled, the owner of any goods warehoused therein shall, within seven days from the date on which notice of such cancellation is given or which such extended period as the proper officer may allow, remove the goods from such warehouse to another warehouse or clear them for home consumption or exportation.
Owner's right to deal with warehoused goods:
- With the sanction of the proper officer and on payment of the prescribed fees, the owner of any goods may either before or after warehousing the same:-
- Inspect the goods
- Separate damaged or deteriorating goods from the rest
- Sort the goods or change their containers for the purpose of preservation, sale, export or disposal of the goods
- Deal with the goods or change their containers in such manner as may be necessary to prevent loss or deteriorating or damage to the goods
- Show the goods for sale
- Take samples of goods without entry for home consumption and if the proper officer permits, without payment of duty on such samples