An alternative to a safe deposit box

Example of segregated storage
©tiero –

Segregated individual custody in an offshore private vault is a practical alternative to renting a safe deposit box – perhaps because of the sheer weight, volume or bulk of the items to be deposited for safekeeping. Just like the safe deposit box option, Swiss Gold Safe provide ultra-secure, bank-independent facilities where your property is kept under individual, segregated storage arrangements designed to safeguard your property at all times.

This method is particularly suitable for clients with a portfolio of precious metals, who appreciate the issue of a formal Swiss Gold Safe contract of custody which conforms with the Swiss Code of Obligations. In addition, clients from abroad can take advantage of storage facilities without the need to be physically present. Provided overseas clients issue clear written instructions about their storage or retrieval intentions, Swiss Gold Safe can implement their requirements to the same extent as if they were available in person.

Individual custody arrangements

Swiss Gold Safe’s individual storage is not subject to any weight or volume restrictions, which is especially convenient for those wishing to secure heavier items such as e.g. silver bars. Likewise, such facilities are also an advantage where a client wishes to arrange somewhere to store and safeguard an expanding portfolio of valuables. Such arrangements are ideal for storing items such as bars and coins, while Swiss institutional clients also use these facilities to store supplies of bank notes and cash.

Beyond non-bank storage and physical protection, a client’s property is also well protected from an insurance perspective. Through an arrangement with Lloyds of London, stored valuables are covered by a comprehensive insurance which includes risks such as theft, robbery and fraud, as well as the standard cover against fire risks and water damage.

Under individual custody arrangements, clients retain full title to their stored property throughout the duration of the storage. Goods such as precious metal bars are catalogued at the outset with warehouse receipts including the serial numbers of such items. Furthermore, individual storage arrangements ensure client holdings are never subsumed or amalgamated with others, which means, for example, such goods can never be deemed part of the Swiss Gold Safe estate.

Clients should always be aware that so-called ‘collective storage’ arrangements include no such safeguards: Owners are simply entitled to receive back goods of a similar weight without reference to other significant factors – such as the origin of the precious metals in question.

Silver bars are perfect for storage in a bonded warehouse
Silver bars in different sizes
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Special advantages of white metal storage

To distinguish them from stored gold, the other primary precious metals kept in store – silver, platinum and palladium – are collectively described as white metals. Unlike gold itself, which is treated as an investment and can usually be traded without incurring a sales tax, white metal transactions are subject to VAT, making such trading inherently more expensive. However, thanks to Switzerland’s own trading arrangements, clients can legally acquire and store white metals VAT-free, provided they continue to observe the rules which apply to all designated duty-free areas.

In essence, a duty-free warehouse (ZFL) – which remains under the control of customs officials – is a Swiss storage repository where white metals can be stored without paying VAT. While individual investors can use such facilities, they must use a private provider such as Swiss Gold Safe to arrange imports under what is known as the customs transit procedure. Alternatively, clients can purchase white metals from a Swiss dealer and have them shipped direct to a duty free warehouse without paying VAT or customs duties.

A similar concession applies to what are known as open bonded warehouses (OZL). Here, white metals can be stored with the same advantages as apply to ZFLs. The essential difference with OZLs is that these warehouses are all managed and monitored by private companies, but still subject to regular compliance checks by Swiss customs officials.

Provided stored white metals remain within these duty-free zones, they can be legitimately stored, bought and sold while remaining totally exempt from either VAT or customs duties.

Click here to learn more about our offshore private vault storage facilities and view the Swiss Gold Safe pricing structure.