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Luxury Warehouses

Luxury Bonded Warehouses

For those who are not familiar with Bond or Free Warehouses, these are areas in which goods can be stored and sold without any payment of customs duties, VAT or excises. Goods can be stored without limit of time and sold as may times as required. In addition, no international commercial policy measures are applied. In summary, a free-tax trade area.

Bond Warehouses offer several advantages not only regarding free tax sales but also e.g. in order to avoid the payment of any tax if goods are going to be re exported.Certain forms of handling are allowed (e.g. quality controls, addition of preservatives, testing or replacing of components). The period of validity of Free Trade Agreements's origin certificates could be extended as well.

Logistic cost can be reduced too by combining a Bond Warehouse with a Private Inspection Point if certain requirements are met; this combination may also help to preserve the quality of the product and to speed up the supply chain among others.

A customized structure of a Bonded Warehouse that fulfills business needs is paramount and customs valuation plays a significant role.

But Bond Warehouses or Free Zones advantages are not the main topic of this little post.

Rich are increasingly investing in expensive stuff and Bond Warehouses or Free Zones such as the one in Luxembourg are becoming one of the best choices for trade. Their advantages are similar to the one offered by offshore financial centres: free taxes, security and confidentiality.

The 237.000 square foot in Luxembourg joins a worldwide network of Luxury Bond Warehouses and Free Zones where taxes are suspended and items can be stored and sold.

Collectors may also temporarily move as well their stored items without payment of taxes for instance for temporary exhibitions in Museums.

Experts speculate that the Free Warehouse in Geneva (Switzerland) may stored the most valuable art collection in all around the world.

Goods within this kind of free areas range from paintings, diamonds, antiques or gold to expensive wines and even luxury cars. Clients are usually Art Galleries, Museums, Investment Funds or private Collectors.

Switzerland was pioneered and have half a dozen of these Bond or Free Warehouses specialized in art or luxury items.

Christie's Fine Art Storage Services in Singapore offers among other security measures: 24 hour electronic monitoring by armed police officers, invisible laser sensors, electronic locks, motion detectors, infrared video cameras and biometric identification.

Gold storage is part of Singapore’s strategy to become the Switzerland of Asia. To support this growth it has been removed a 7% sales tax on precious metals. Gold has traditionally been stored in London, Zurich or Geneva and New York, but there is a serious shift in dynamics going on.

Despite of Singapore efforts, Switzerland remains the world’s leading gold repository so far. Its imports of gold have an estimated value of US$ 650 billions.

The irony of the Singapore Free Port is that it was designed by Swiss architects and Swiss security experts but competes directly with Switzerland for off-shore accounts.

An exceptionally large blue diamond was sold in November 2015 in Geneva for US$48.5 million, a new record price Sotheby's said. A private Hong Kong collector purchased it. The sale took place with not taxes. Can you guess were the sale took place?

Some scandals happened at the beginning with some Bond Warehouses located in different countries. Following these scandals e.g. Switzerland moved to clean up its free ports. Free ports became subject to the same regulations than imports, with the obligation to declare ownership, origin and value for goods. Since 2009 a full inventory is also required.

In 2003 Swiss Customs Authorities discovered 200 stolen ancient Egyptian treasures, including two mummies, at Geneva’s FreePort. They were returned to Egypt.

One of the main international concerns that arise regarding these kind of storage within Bond or Free Warehouses is the illegal traffic of items as blood diamonds, the money laundering and mostly the terrorist financing.


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