Valuation of Merchandise for Customs Purposes

One of the most important considerations of international trade is the proper valuation of imported goods. U.S. Customs, as well as Customs officials in other countries, expect companies to declare the proper valuation at the time of entry.

What is the proper valuation for Customs purposes?

Under the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade (GATT), WTO member countries abide by the same valuation methods. For U.S. Customs, the preferred method of valuation is the “transaction value” method which is the “price paid or payable for the goods at the time of export to the U.S.” Generally in most transactions the buyer and seller do in fact have an agreed to price at the time of export.

Additions to the price paid or payable

However, the following costs must be reported to Customs if they are not included in the transaction value:

  • Packing costs
  • Assists provided free of charge, directly or indirectly to the seller (including tools, molds, components, used in the production of imported merchandise.
  • Selling commissions
  • Royalties
  • Proceeds of any subsequent resale paid to the seller

Valuation can be a difficult area for importers to understand. The Law Offices of Paula M. Connelly has many years of experience in assisting companies with the complexities of valuation and ensuring that the proper valuation is declared to Customs at the time of entry.


The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

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