Update on EU Customs valuation under the UCC

April 21, 2016


As previously reported, the Union Customs Code (UCC) is being introduced across the EU on 1 May 2016 and there will be a number of changes to how goods cross EU borders, including changes to how 'transaction value' is determined for customs duty purposes. In particular we address the initial interpretation of Dutch Customs as to which transaction would qualify as the sale for export to the EU, that is to be applied as the basis for the transaction value method.

More specifically, the Dutch Customs had explained that a pre-ordered transaction (i.e. the sale of the importer to the subsequent buyer in the chain of sales) will become the transaction that must be used as the basis for the transaction value method.

Now the EU has drafted a Guidance document in which, amongst others, their interpretation is provided on which transaction must be applied for determining the customs value while applying the transaction value method. On the basis of this Guidance document, we understand that the physical flow should be leading and that (pre)orders should not be used for appraisal. This will take away the issue that a number of companies were facing, e.g. in the apparel industry.

What is furthermore remarkable in the Guidance document, is that it introduces the concept of a so called “domestic sale”, i.e. a sale between two EU companies. It is explained that such a domestic sale cannot qualify as “a sale for export to the EU” and thus that it cannot be applied under the transaction value method. It is however unclear whether this is meant to apply only for goods that are already on the EU territory (e.g. while stored in a customs warehouse) or alternatively in a broader context, e.g. for goods that are sailing from the Far East to the EU.

We will keep monitoring developments and again, once there will be more clarity, provide a further update.

Ruud Tusveld André Stoop
e: [email protected]

p: +31(0)88 792 34 73

Matthew Paul Clark
e: [email protected]

p: +44 (0) 207 212 4143 

Amanda Hektor
[email protected]

p: +44 (0) 20 7213 2369 


Christine O'Malley

e: [email protected]

p: +44 (0)16 1245 2429