How to value your imports for customs duty and trade statistics

The main method of calculating import value

There are six methods you can use to calculate your import valuations. Method 1 is the first method you must try. It applies to over 90 per cent of import consignments.

Method 1 is the 'transaction value' method. This is based on the price paid or payable by a buyer to a seller for the imported goods when sold for export to the European Union (EU). You'll need to provide evidence of the price paid with your import entry, eg a copy of the seller's invoice.

What to include in your Method 1 calculation

If they're not already included in the seller's price, you must add the costs of:

  • delivery to the EU border
  • most commissions (except buying commission)
  • royalties and licence fees paid by you on the imported goods as a condition of sale
  • containers and packing
  • any proceeds of resale the seller will receive
  • goods and services you provide to the seller for free or at a reduced cost - eg components incorporated in the imported goods, or development and design work carried out outside the EU and necessary for the production of the imports

If you import goods from a processor - ie a business that assembles or otherwise works on one or more sets of existing products to create your new imported products - transaction values can be built up by adding to the processing costs the value of any materials or components you provided to the processor.

What to exclude from your calculation

Items to be left out of the customs value if certain conditions are met include:

  • delivery costs within the EU
  • EU duties or taxes
  • taxes paid in the country of origin or export
  • quantity and trade discounts and those relating to cash and early settlement, that are valid at the time the goods are valued
  • dividend payments to the seller
  • marketing activities related to the imports
  • buying commission
  • export quota and licence costs
  • interest charges
  • rights of reproduction
  • post-importation work, eg construction or assembly
  • management fees

When does Method 1 not apply?

Method 1 can't be used if the goods are imported on consignment, ie there has been no sale, or they've been supplied free of charge or on loan. Read aboutĀ other methods of calculating import value.