How to value your imports for customs duty and trade statistics

Declaring an import value

Every time you import a consignment of goods from outside the European Union (EU), you must provide HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) with details of its value - you may also need to provide a valuation declaration.

You must declare the import value on your Single Administrative Document (SAD or form C88).

SAD forms can be completed manually or electronically using the Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight (CHIEF) system, although manual submissions usually take longer to process. You can register for electronic declarations via the Government Gateway website.

The Import Control System (ICS) is part of the EU-wide Automated Import System to facilitate import procedures so that traders only have to submit information once.

How import value is used

There are three main reasons why HMRC needs to establish a value for imported goods:

  • customs duty - often charged as a percentage of the value of goods and known as 'ad valorem' duty
  • import VAT - also calculated as a percentage of the value of your goods, plus other expenses and any customs duty - read more about value for import VAT
  • trade statistics - arrived at using the customs valuation rules - read more about import value for trade statistics purposes

Read further information about calculating import values.