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HMRC internal manual

Temporary Storage and Approved Depositories

Approvals: those who can apply

Non Union goods in Temporary Storage can only be stored in places approved by Customs Authorities under EU and UK legislation.

The correct approval must be in place before any activities are undertaken with goods in Temporary Storage and failure to have the correct approval should result in the Customs Authorities applying Customs Civil Penalty (CCP) action.

There is no facility in EU legislation for the issue of a retrospective approval for a Temporary Storage.

Those who can apply

In order for an application for a Temporary Storage or Approved Depository approval to be accepted the applicant must be:

  • air/port operators
  • a freight forwarder
  • a customs agent
  • a warehouse keeper
  • a transport company

They must also be:

  • established in the EU
  • involved with the movement of non Union cargo
  • responsible for the operation of the facility

The operator of the proposed Temporary Storage facility is responsible for the physical acceptance and release of the goods into and out of the potential Temporary Storage facility:

  • for the collection of data into the customs approved electronic inventory Temporary Storage Stock Account Record on the arrival of the goods into the premises
  • meeting the terms and conditions required for a Temporary Storage approval

Third party operators of a Temporary Storage facility will no longer be allowed, it is the approval holder who is ‘authorised’ to operate Temporary Storage facilities. The third party has not had the appropriate approval vetting assessments therefore they may be unsuitable to operate Customs activities.

Please note that if the trader has an adverse compliance history relating to breaches of customs regulations or breaches of EU or UK legislation in respect of the smuggling of prohibited or restricted goods or the evasion of EU or UK revenue the application may be refused.

Application of Approval

The Border Force National Frontier Approvals Unit (NFAU) in Birmingham is responsible for the processing and maintenance of all Temporary Storage authorisations. All new applications and any change requests to existing approvals should be sent to the NFAU at the following address in the first instance:

National Frontier Approvals Unit (NFAU)
1st Floor Admin Block
The Cargo Centre
Birmingham International Airport
B26 3QN

Phone: 0121 781 7861/7856
Fax: 0121 781 7869

The NFAU will:

  • carry out checks to ensure details on the application are correct
  • liaise with Border Force to agree specific approval requirements and conditions
  • issue the approval letter (if all criteria has been met)
  • provide local Customs Authority Officers with copies of relevant documents for local retention
  • enter/amend details on the national approvals database
  • retain all original approval documentation including the copy letter signed by the operator.


Temporary Storage Approval holders will require a guarantee, EU Regulation 952/2013 Article 89.2 states where customs authorities require a guarantee for a potential or existing debt to be provided, that guarantee shall cover the amount of import or export duty and any other charges due in connection with the import or export.

For existing Operators there is a transitional period where TS Approval holders may continue to use the deed of undertaking to operate until the end date of their approval or until they apply for a new approval under the UCC or 30 April 2019 whichever is the earliest.

AEOc traders may be entitled to guarantee waiver.

EU Regulation 952/2013 Article 89 & 90 where it is compulsory for a guarantee to be provided, the customs authorities shall fix the amount of such guarantee at a level equal to the precise amount of import or export duty corresponding to the customs debt and of other charges when the amount can be established with certainty at the time when the guarantee is required.

Where it is not possible to establish the precise amount, the guarantee shall be fixed at the maximum amount, as estimated by the customs authorities, of import or export duty corresponding to the customs debt and of other charges to be covered at all times.

Please refer to Customs Authorisations and Approvals (CAA) Manual for guarantees.