Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Bonded Warehouses

Bonded Warehouses are warehouses approved by the revenue authorities (in the United Kingdom by H.M. Commissioners of Customs or Inland Revenue) for the storage of dutiable goods. These may be deposited in them without payment of duty, and withdrawn gradually in small quantities, the duty being paid on each portion as it is taken out, or the goods can be re-exported without payment of duty at all. Thus merchants are able to transact their business with less capital than they would otherwise require, and the price of the goods to the public is not raised, as it would otherwise be, by the interest on such additional capital. The warehouse is under supervision by the revenue officers, and a bond is given by the warehouse keeper for exportation or payment of duty. Wines and spirits may be blended, fortified, and otherwise dealt with in the warehouse under defined conditions. The Customs or Inland Revenue authorities are not liable for any damage caused to the goods by accident while in the warehouse. The system was part of Sir R. Walpole's abortive Excise scheme in 1733, but was only adopted for the British Customs in 1802, and for the Excise in 1823. The practice of the two services was partly assimilated in 1882.