Policy of Public Bonded Warehouses:

An important provision of the Customs Act, 1962 is that relating to the warehousing of imported goods. The object of warehousing is to allow the facility of deferred payment of customs duty on the dutiable imported goods till such time they are cleared into the domestic area or are exported. It also provides customs control over the movement of dutiable imported goods and accounting thereof with a view to safeguard revenue. Chapter IX of the Customs Act, 1962 comprising Sections 57 to 73 details the warehousing provisions relating to the dutiable imported goods. Sections 2(43), (44) and (45) of the Customs Act, 1962 are also relevant.

The warehouses are commonly referred to as 'customs bonded' warehouses. These may be of two types, public or private. Whereas the former are appointed, the latter are licensed under the authority of Sections 57 and 58 of the Customs Act, 1962, respectively. Public warehouses are usually set up by public bodies such as public sector enterprises, though private operators are also allowed to establish public warehouses. These warehouse provide common user facility and goods imported by anybody may be stored therein

In contrast, the private warehouses are licensed to private persons and only the goods imported by or on behalf of the licensee are stored in a private warehouse. However, other imported goods in respect of which the facility for deposit in a public warehouse are not available may also be deposited in a private warehouse.