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HMRC internal manual

VAT Supplies in Warehouse and Fiscal Warehousing

Fiscal warehouses: authorisation of fiscal warehousekeepers

Potential fiscal warehouse operators must apply to HMRC for authorisation. Strict criteria are applied to ensure that the revenue record and internal accounting procedures of an authorised fiscal warehousekeeper are of a sufficiently high order to guarantee the integrity of the regime. Accounting, Registration and Exports Team (see VWRHS1050) will provide advice where details provided by applicants do not provide the necessary assurance. 

Applications should be made in writing and contain the details listed below. An acknowledgement is normally sent within 10 working days. Where the applicant can demonstrate full compliance with HMRC’s requirements, authorisation is granted by letter and is generally without any time limit being stipulated. Conditions of authorisation may be changed, either in response to a request from the warehousekeeper or because of HMRC considerations.

The premises used as fiscal warehouses may also be used to store goods which are not covered by the regime. Such goods do not enjoy the same tax free trading status enjoyed by goods within the fiscal warehousing regime, and therefore services associated with these goods should not be relieved of VAT.

Specimen application for authorisation to operate fiscal warehousing

The following details should be shown where appropriate:

  1. name or business name, address and VAT number - see note 1
  2. address(es) and description(s) of storage facilities
  3. details of any authorised UK duty suspensive regime which you operate
  4. brief description of stock records and accounting system and place where stock records will be kept - see note 2
  5. nature of goods to be stored - either specific goods or “all eligible goods”: details of eligible goods can be found in VWRHS5400
  6. common storage of different categories of goods envisaged (goods in free circulation or goods under another customs procedure)
  7. details of temporary removals or VAT-free sampling envisaged: you should also indicate whether general authorisation is required or whether an application will be made each time goods are to be removed
  8. details of documents attached, for example annexes detailing records that must be kept
  9. the application must be signed by a director, proprietor, partner or duly authorised person.


  1. Not required if application is on company headed notepaper giving these particulars.
  2. Please give details of:

    1. documentation to be used to enter goods to the regime,
    2. stock control system,
    3. point at which goods are deemed to have left the fiscal warehousing regime and are therefore liable to removal VAT,
    4. documentation to be used to transfer goods to another UK fiscal warehouse,
    5. documentation to be used to transfer goods to a fiscal warehouse in another EU member-state.