U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Customs Undervaluation- It’s a Crime

Customs Valuation is a procedure to determine the customs value of imported goods. The customs value is essential to calculate the total duty to be paid on an imported good. As part of its agreement with the World Trade Organization (“WTO”), the U.S. is part of an internationally standardized system of valuing imports. This standardized system allows for CBP to protect revenue, ensure reasonable care from importers, and accurately calculate Census trade statistics. Accordingly, it is critical to declare the value of importations accurately and compliantly. 

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) valuation methodology (as well as a summary of relevant Customs rulings) are described in detail in the Valuation Encyclopedia (i.e., the best resource on valuation inquiries). CBP permits merchandise to be valued according to one of the six valuation methods listed below. The methods are applied sequentially from first to last until an applicable value is determined. If the first method does not apply, the importer must then evaluate the second, and so on, until an appropriate method applies. The only exception to this sequential evaluation requirement is when evaluating between deductive value and computed value – an importer may choose to use the computed value before the deductive value.

Methods of Valuation:

  1. The transaction value of imported merchandise (the majority of imports use transaction value – i.e., the price paid or payable plus assists (see below))
  2. The transaction value of identical merchandise
  3. The transaction value of similar merchandise
  4. Deductive value
  5. Computed […]

Customs and Trade Law Weekly Snapshot

Here is a recap of the latest customs and international trade law news:

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Future of First Sale Rule in Question

On March 1, 2021, the Court of International Trade (CIT) denied Meyer Corporation’s claim for duty-free treatment under its attempted use of the first sale valuation and the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), in Meyer Corporation, U.S. v. United States, Court No. 13-00154 (Meyer). This case sent a ripple through the trade-community as many speculate whether the decision signals an end of first sale for non-market countries.

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HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND SERVICES PROVIDERS – WHAT YOU MUST KNOW.

In the household goods and services industry? Did you know you have to import your goods and services in compliance with the Bureau of Household Goods and Services (BHGS) regulations? Manufacturers or wholesalers of any article of upholstered furniture bedding, or filling material manufactured outside of the United States for the purpose of sale or resale in California, whether it be through employees or agents, fall within this category.

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INVESTING IN THE PETROLEUM INDUSTRY? – WHY HAITI.

Despite Haiti’s challenging socio-economic, as well as political climate, Haiti remains one of the most open economies of the Caribbean seeking foreign direct investment (FDI). Haiti’s legislation encourages such FDI with the assurance that the same rights, privileges, and equal protection are provided to local and foreign companies. The current president of Haiti established and announced “Seven Priority Axes” for the development of Haiti. One of which is in the electricity (e.g., Hydro, Solar, Natural Gas and, of course, Petroleum) sector.

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