Customs value is primarily based on the trade value of the goods, that is, on the price actually paid or payable for the goods when they are sold for export to the customs territory of the EU.
A trade invoice showing the price paid for the goods and the terms of delivery, among other things, must be presented for the goods in connection with the customs clearance. The transport costs to the place where the goods entered the EU, for example, are also included in the customs value. The place of entry is the location in the customs territory of the EU where the goods are first brought.
The majority of customs duties levied in the EU comprise ad valorem duties, calculated as a percentage of the customs value of the goods. The amount of value added tax levied on import is usually based on the customs value as well. The scope of Customs competence regarding value added tax on importation changed on 1 January 2018. The value added taxation was transferred from Customs to the Tax Administration in situations where the importer is included in the register of VAT payers.
If the trade value cannot be used, the customs value is defined using secondary methods of value definition.
If the trade value comprises a transaction price between two related parties, the effect of the relationship on the price will be assessed, when necessary. The term “relationship” refers to, for example, businesses in the same group of companies.
If the transaction price or the related adjustment items are given in a currency other than the euro, the sums must first be converted into euros based on confirmed currency rates. Customs lists the currency rates applied at any given time on its website.
Points to consider
Goods purchased outside the EU, for example a vehicle or a machine, may be used at the time of import. When the customs value of used goods is defined, the transaction price of the goods can be reduced based on the extent to which the goods were used between the time of purchase and the time of customs clearance. Differences due to equipment are also taken into account.
A deduction can be made for example with a view to the item’s remaining time of use. Write-offs of machinery and equipment can also be used in defining the customs value. Deductions must always be based on documented proof, and are approved case by case.