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Taxation and Customs Union

Introduction to Customs Valuation

Customs valuation is the determination of the economic value of goods declared for importation. Together with origin and classification, the customs value provides the basis for assessment of the customs debt, which is normally calculated as a percentage of the customs value.

There are 6 valuation methods:

  1. The transaction value method
  2. The transaction value of identical goods
  3. The transaction value of similar goods
  4. The deductive method
  5. The computed method
  6. The fall-back method

The primary valuation method is the transaction value method, which comprises the total amount paid (or to be paid) for the imported goods (Article 70 UCC). The transaction value is subject to certain additions (Article 71 UCC) and deductions (Article 72 UCC). If the transaction method is not applicable, the other secondary valuation methods would be applied in sequential order (Article 74 UCC).

International framework

The principles of customs valuation are set out in the World Trade Organization’s Customs Valuation Agreement. The World Trade Organization’s Committee on Customs Valuation (CCV) and the World Customs Organization’s Technical Committee on Customs Valuation (TCCV) are the international customs valuation forums. The WCO Customs Valuation Compendium compiles instruments issued by the TCCV that offer guidance on the interpretation and application at an international level of the Customs Valuation Agreement.

EU Legislation

The rules set out in the Customs Valuation Agreement are transposed into the EU customs legislation as follows:

Guidance on customs valuation is set out in the EC Customs Valuation Compendium, including:

  • Interpretative notes on customs valuation;
  • Conclusions and commentaries on specific valuation topics (recently adopted guidance that is not yet integrated in the Compendium can be found here);
  • An overview of rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the customs valuation area (for the complete and authentic rulings, please consult the CJEU website); and
  • Index of instruments issued by the TCCV.

The customs authorities of EU Member States are competent to implement these common rules in their respective territory.