19 CFR 152.103 - Transaction value.

§ 152.103 Transaction value.

(a)Price actually paid or payable -

(1)General. In determining transaction value, the price actually paid or payable will be considered without regard to its method of derivation. It may be the result of discounts, increases, or negotiations, or may be arrived at by the application of a formula, such as the price in effect on the date of export in the London Commodity Market. The word “payable” refers to a situation in which the price has been agreed upon, but actual payment has not been made at the time of importation. Payment may be made by letters of credit or negotiable instruments and may be made directly or indirectly.

Example 1.
In a transaction with foreign Company X, a U.S. firm pays Company X $10,000 for a shipment of meat products, packed ready for shipment to the United States. No selling commission, assist, royalty, or license fee is involved. Company X is not related to the U.S. purchaser and imposes no condition or limitation on the buyer.

The customs value of the imported meat products is $10,000 - the transaction value of the imported merchandise.

Example 2.
A foreign shipper sold merchandise at $100 per unit to a U.S. importer. Subsequently, the foreign shipper increased its price to $110 per unit. The merchandise was exported after the effective date of the price increase. The invoice price of $100 was the price originally agreed upon and the price the U.S. importer actually paid for the merchandise.

How should the merchandise be appraised?

Actual transaction value of $100 per unit based on the price actually paid or payable.

Example 3.
A foreign shipper sells to U.S. wholesalers at one price and to U.S. retailers at a higher price. The shipment undergoing appraisement is a shipment to a U.S. retailer. There are continuing shipments of identical and similar merchandise to U.S. wholesalers.

How should the merchandise be appraised?

Actual transaction value based on the price actually paid or payable by the retailer.

Example 4.
Company X in the United States pay $2,000 to Y Toy Factory abroad for a shipment of toys. The $2,000 consists of $1,850 for the toys and $150 for ocean freight and insurance. Y Toy Factory would have charged Company X $2,200 for the toys; however, because Y owed Company X $350, Y charged only $1,850 for the toys. What is the transaction value?

The transaction value of the imported merchandise is $2,200, that is, the sum of the $1,850 plus the $350 indirect payment. Because the transaction value excludes C.I.F. charges, the $150 ocean freight and insurance charge is excluded.

Example 5.
A seller offers merchandise at $100, less a 2% discount for cash. A buyer remits $98 cash, taking advantage of the cash discount.

The transaction value is $98, the price actually paid or payable.

(2)Indirect payment. An indirect payment would include the settlement by the buyer, in whole or in part, of a debt owed by the seller, or where the buyer receives a price reduction on a current importation as a means of settling a debt owed him by the seller. Activities such as advertising, undertaken by the buyer on his own account, other than those for which an adjustment is provided in § 152.103(b), will not be considered an indirect payment to the seller though they may benefit the seller. The costs of those activities will not be added to the price actually paid or payable in determining the customs value of the imported merchandise.

(3)Assembled merchandise. The price actually paid or payable may represent an amount for the assembly of imported merchandise in which the seller has no interest other than as the assembler. The price actually paid or payable in that case will be calculated by the addition of the value of the components and required adjustments to form the basis for the transaction value.

Example 1.
The importer previously has supplied an unrelated foreign assembler with fabricated components ready for assembly having a value or cost at the assembler's plant of $1.00 per unit. The importer pays the assembler 50¢ per unit for the assembly. The transaction value for the assembled unit is $1.50.
Example 2.
Same facts as Example 1 above except the U.S. importer furnishes to the foreign assembler a tooling assist consisting of a tool acquired by the importer at $1,000. The transportation expenses to the foreign assembler's plant for the tooling assist equal $100. The transaction value for the assembled unit would be $1.50 per unit plus a pro rata share of the tooling assist valued at $1,100.

(4)Rebate. Any rebate of, or other decrease in, the price actually paid or payable made or otherwise effected between the buyer and seller after the date of importation of the merchandise will be disregarded in determining the transaction value under § 152.103(b).

(5)Foreign inland freight and other inland charges incident to the international shipment of merchandise -

(i)Ex-factory sales. If the price actually paid or payable by the buyer to the seller for the imported merchandise does not include a charge for foreign inland freight and other charges for services incident to the international shipment of merchandise (an ex-factory price), those charges will not be added to the price.

(ii)Sales other than ex-factory. As a general rule, in those situations where the price actually paid or payable for imported merchandise includes a charge for foreign inland freight, whether or not itemized separately on the invoices or other commercial documents, that charge will be part of the transaction value to the extent included in the price. However, charges for foreign inland freight and other services incident to the shipment of the merchandise to the United States may be considered incident to the international shipment of that merchandise within the meaning of § 152.102(f) if they are identified separately and they occur after the merchandise has been sold for export to the United States and placed with a carrier for through shipment to the United States.

(iii)Evidence of sale for export and placement for through shipment. A sale for export and placement for through shipment to the United States under paragraph (a)(5)(ii) of this section shall be established by means of a through bill of lading to be presented to CBP, either at the port of entry or electronically. Only in those situations where it clearly would be impossible to ship merchandise on a through bill of lading (e.g., shipments via the seller's own conveyance) will other documentation satisfactory to the Center director showing a sale for export to the United States and placement for through shipment to the United States be accepted in lieu of a through bill of lading.

(iv)Erroneous and false information. This regulation shall not be construed as prohibiting Customs from making appropriate additions to the dutiable value of merchandise in instances where verification reveals that foreign inland freight charges or other charges for services incident to the international shipment of merchandise have been overstated.

(b)Additions to price actually paid or payable.

(1) The transaction value of imported merchandise is the price actually paid or payable for the merchandise when sold for exportation to the United States, plus amounts equal to:

(i) The packing costs incurred by the buyer with respect to the imported merchandise;

(ii) Any selling commission incurred by the buyer with respect to the imported merchandise;

(iii) The value, apportioned as appropriate, of any assist;

(iv) Any royalty or license fee related to the imported merchandise that the buyer is required to pay, directly or indirectly, as a condition of the sale of the imported merchandise for exportation to the United States; and

(v) The proceeds of any subsequent resale, disposal, or use of the imported merchandise that accrue, directly or indirectly, to the seller.

(2) The price actually paid or payable for imported merchandise will be increased by the amounts attributable to the items (and no others) described in paragraphs (b)(1) (i) through (v) of this section to the extent that each amount is not otherwise included within the price actually paid or payable, and is based on sufficient information. If sufficient information is not available, for any reason, with respect to any amount referred to in this section, the transaction value will be treated as one that cannot be determined.

(3)Interpretative note. A royalty is paid on the basis of the price in a sale in the United States of a gallon of a particular product imported by the pound and transformed into a solution after importation. If the royalty is based partially on the imported merchandise and partially on other factors which have nothing to do with the imported merchandise (such as if the imported merchandise is mixed with domestic ingredients and is no longer separately identifiable, or if the royalty cannot be distinguished from special financial arrangements between the buyer and the seller), it would be inappropriate to attempt to make an addition for the royalty. However, if the amount of this royalty is based only on the imported merchandise and can be readily quantified, an addition to the price actually paid or payable will be made.

(c)Sufficiency of information. Additions to the price actually paid or payable will be made only if there is sufficient information to establish the accuracy of the additions and the extent to which they are not included in the price.

(d)Assist. If the value of an assist is to be added to the price actually paid or payable, or to be used as a component of computed value, the Center director shall determine the value of the assist and apportion that value to the price of the imported merchandise in the following manner:

(1) If the assist consist of materials, components, parts, or similar items incorporated in the imported merchandise, or items consumed in the production of the imported merchandise, acquired by the buyer from an unrelated seller, the value of the assist is the cost of its acquisition. If the assist were produced by the buyer or a person related to the buyer, its value would be the cost of its production. In either case, the value of the assist would include transportation costs to the place of production.

(2) If the assist consists of tools, dies, molds, or similar items used in the production of the imported merchandise, acquired by the buyer from an unrelated seller,the value of the assist is the cost of its acquisition. If the assist were produced by the buyer or a person related to the buyer, its value would be cost of its production. If the assist has been used previously by the buyer, regardless of whether it had been acquired or produced by him, the original cost of acquisition or production would be adjusted downward to reflect its use before its value could be determined. If the assist were leased by the buyer from an unrelated seller, the value of the assist would be the cost of the lease. In either case, the value of the assist would include transportation costs to the place of production. Repairs or modifications to an assist may increase its value.

Example 1.
A U.S. importer supplied detailed designs to the foreign producer. These designs were necessary to manufacture the merchandise. The U.S. importer bought the designs from an engineering company in the U.S. for submission to his foreign supplier.

Should the appraised value of the merchandise include the value of the assist?

No, design work undertaken in the U.S. may not be added to the price actually paid or payable.

Example 2.
A U.S. importer supplied molds free of charge to the foreign shipper. The molds were necessary to manufacture merchandise for the U.S. importer. The U.S. importer had some of the molds manufactured by a U.S. company and others manufactured in a third country.

Should the appraised value of the merchandise include the value of the molds?

Yes. It is an addition required to be made to transaction value.

(e)Apportionment.

(1) The apportionment of the value of assists to imported merchandise will be made in a reasonable manner appropriate to the circumstances and in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The method of apportionment actually accepted by Customs will depend upon the documentation submitted by the importer. If the entire anticipated production using the assist is for exportation to the United States, the total value may be apportioned over (i) the first shipment, if the importer wishes to pay duty on the entire value at once, (ii) the number of units produced up to the time of the first shipment, or (iii) the entire anticipated production. In addition to these three methods, the importer may request some other method of apportionment in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. If the anticipated production is only partially for exportation to the United States, or if the assist is used in several countries, the method of apportionment will depend upon the documentation submitted by the importer.

(2)Interpretative note. An importer provides the producer with a mold to be used in the production of the imported merchandise and contracts to buy 10,000 units. By the time of arrival of the first shipment of 1,000 units, the producer has already produced 4,000 units. The importer may request Customs to apportion the value of the mold over 1,000, 4,000, 10,000 units, or any other figure which is in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.

(f)Royalties or license fees. Royalties or license fees for patents covering processes to manufacture the imported merchandise generally will be dutiable. Royalties or license fees paid to third parties for use, in the United States, of copyrights and trademarks related to the imported merchandise generally will be considered selling expenses of the buyer and not dutiable. The dutiable status of royalties or license fees paid by the buyer will be determined in each case and will depend on (1) whether the buyer was required to pay them as a condition of sale of the merchandise for exportation to the United States, and (2) to whom and under what circumstances they were paid. Payments made by the buyer to a third party for the right to distribute or resell the imported merchandise will not be added to the price actually paid or payable for the imported merchandise if the payments are not a condition of the sale of the merchandise for exportation to the United States.

Example.
A foreign producer sold merchandise to an unrelated U.S. importer. The U.S. importer pays a royalty to an unrelated third party for the right to manufacture and sell a product made in part from the imported merchandise. The royalty is based on the selling price of the further-manufactured product in the U.S.

Is the license fee part of the appraised value? No. The license fee is not a condition of the sale of the imported merchandise for export to the U.S.

(g)Proceeds of subsequent resale. Additions to the price actually paid or payable will be made for the value of any part of the proceeds of any subsequent resale, disposal, or use of the imported merchandise that accrues directly or indirectly to the seller. Dividends or other payments from the buyer to the seller which do not relate directly to the imported merchandise will not be added to the price actually paid or payable. Whether any addition would be made will depend on the facts of the particular case.

Example.
A buyer contracts to import a new product. Not knowing whether the product ultimately will sell in the United States, the buyer agrees to pay the seller initially $1 per unit with an additional $1 per unit to be paid upon the sale of each unit in the United States. Assuming the resale price in the United States can be determined in a reasonable period of time, the transaction value of each unit would be $2. Otherwise, the transaction value could not be determined for want of sufficient information.

(h)Right to reproduce. Charges for the right to reproduce the imported merchandise in the United States will not be added to the price actually paid or payable. The right to reproduce denotes that an idea or an original work is incorporated in, or reflected by, the imported merchandise, and the right is reserved to reproduce that idea or work in other merchandise by using the imported merchandise. The concept of the right to reproduce relates only to the following classes of merchandise: originals or copies of artistic or scientific works; originals or copies of models and industrial drawings; model machines and prototypes; and plant and animal species.

Example.
The importer purchases a painting. By purchasing the painting, the owner possesses the right to resell, lease, or otherwise place it on display. Absent an agreement to the contrary, he does not possess the right to reproduce copies of the painting. Fees paid for the right to reproduce the painting would not be dutiable.

(i)Exclusions from transaction value. The transaction value of imported merchandise does not include any of the following, if identified separately from the price actually paid or payable and from any cost or other item referred to in paragraph (b) of this section:

(1) Any reasonable cost or charge that is incurred for -

(i) The construction, erection, assembly, or maintenance of, or the technical assistance provided with respect to, the merchandise after its importation into the United States; or

(ii) The transportation of the merchandise after its importation.

(2) The customs duties and other Federal taxes currently payable on the imported merchandise by reason of its importation, and any Federal excise tax on, or measured by the value of, the merchandise for which vendors in the United States ordinarily are liable.

Example.
A foreign shipper sells a piece of equipment to a U.S. buyer. The total contract price for the equipment includes technical assistance in the U.S. The equipment cannot be purchased without the technical assistance, but the contract provides a breakdown of costs.

Should the appraised value include the technical assistance? No, transaction value does not include any reasonable costs for construction, erection, assembly, maintenance of, or technical assistance, for the imported merchandise after its importation into the U.S., the cost of which can be accurately identified as being separate from the price actually paid or payable for the merchandise to which they relate.

(j)Limitations on use of transaction value -

(1)In general. The transaction value of imported merchandise will be the appraised value only if:

(i) There are no restrictions on the disposition or use of the imported merchandise by the buyer, other than restrictions which are imposed or required by law, limit the geographical area in which the merchandise may be resold, or do not affect substantially the value of the merchandise;

(ii) The sale of, or the price actually paid or payable for, the imported merchandise is not subject to any condition or consideration for which a value cannot be determined;

(iii) No part of the proceeds of any subsequent resale, disposal, or use of the imported merchandise by the buyer will accrue directly or indirectly to the seller, unless an appropriate adjustment can be made under paragraph (b)(1)(v) of this section; and

(iv) The buyer and seller are not related, or the buyer and seller are related but the transaction value is acceptable.

(2)Related person transactions.

(i) The transaction value between a related buyer and seller is acceptable if an examination of the circumstances of sale indicates that their relationship did not influence the price actually paid or payable, or if the transaction value of the imported merchandise closely approximates:

(A) The transaction value of identical merchandise; or of similar merchandise, in sales to unrelated buyers in the United States; or

(B) The deductive value or computed value of identical merchandise, or of similar merchandise; and

(C) Each value referred to in paragraph (j)(2)(i) (A) and (B) of this section that is used for comparison relates to merchandise that was exported to the United States at or about the same time as the imported merchandise.

(ii) In applying the values used for comparison, differences with respect to the sales involved will be taken into account if based on sufficient information supplied by the buyer or otherwise available to Customs and if the differences relate to:

(A) Commercial levels;

(B) Quantity levels;

(C) The costs, commissions, values, fees, and proceeds described in paragraph (b) of this section; and

(D) The costs incurred by the seller in sales in which the seller and the buyer are not related that are not incurred by the seller in sales in which the seller and the buyer are related.

(k)Restrictions and conditions on sale.

(1) A restriction placed on the buyer of imported merchandise that does not affect substantially its value will not prevent transaction value from being accepted as the appraised value.

(i)Interpretative note. A seller requires a buyer of automobiles not to sell or exhibit them before a fixed date that represents the beginning of a model year.

(2) The transaction value will not be accepted as the appraised value if the sale of, or the price actually paid or payable for, the merchandise is subject to a condition or consideration for which a value cannot be determined.

(i)Interpretative note 1. The seller establishes the price of the imported merchandise on condition that the buyer also will buy other merchandise in specified quantities.

(ii)Interpretative note 2. The price of the imported merchandise is dependent upon the price or prices at which the buyer of the merchandise sells other merchandise to the seller of the merchandise.

(iii)Interpretative note 3. The price of the imported merchandise is established on the basis of a form of payment extraneous to the merchandise, such as where the merchandise is to be further processed by the buyer, and has been provided by the seller on condition that he will receive a specified quantity of the finished merchandise.

(l)Related buyer and seller -

(1)Validation of transaction. The Center director shall not disregard a transaction value solely because the buyer and seller are related. There will be related person transactions in which validation of the transaction value, using the procedures contained in § 152.103(j)(2), may not be necessary.

(i)Interpretative note 1. Customs may have previously examined the relationship or may already have sufficient detailed information concerning the buyer and seller to be satisfied that the relationship did not influence the price actually paid or payable. In such case, if Customs has no doubts about the acceptability of the price, the price will be accepted without requesting further information from the importer. If Customs does have doubts about the acceptability of the price and is unable to accept the transaction value without further inquiry, the importer will be given an opportunity to supply such further detailed information as may be necessary to enable Customs to examine the circumstances of the sale. In this context, Customs will examine relevant aspects of the transaction, including the way in which the buyer and seller organize their commercial relations and the way in which the price in question was arrived at in order to determine whether the relationship influenced the price.

(ii)Interpretative note 2. If it is shown that the buyer and seller, although related, buy from and sell to each other as if they were not related, this will demonstrate that the price has not been influenced by the relationship, and the transaction value will be accepted. If the price has been settled in a manner consistent with the normal pricing practices of the industry in question, or with the way the seller settles prices for sales to buyers who are not related to him, this will demonstrate that the price has not been influenced by the relationship.

(iii)Interpretative note 3. If it is shown that the price is adequate to ensure recovery of all costs plus a profit which is equivalent to the firm's overall profit realized over a representative period of time (e.g., on an annual basis), in sales of merchandise of the same class or kind, this would demonstrate that the price has not been influenced.

Example.
A foreign seller sells merchandise to a related U.S. importer. The foreign seller does not sell identical merchandise or similar merchandise to any unrelated parties. The transaction between the foreign seller and the U.S. importer is determined by Customs to be unaffected by the relationship.

How should the merchandise be appraised?

Transaction value based on the price actually paid or payable. A transaction value between a related buyer and seller is acceptable if the relationship did not affect the price actually paid or payable. This is so even if similar merchandise is being sold at a higher price, which includes a higher percentage for profit and general expenses.

(2)Test values.

(i) The importer or the buyer may demonstrate that the transaction value in a related person transaction is acceptable by showing that the value “closely approximates” any one of the test values provided in § 152.103(j)(2)(i). The factors that will be examined to determine if the transaction value closely approximates a test value include:

(A) The nature of the imported merchandise and the industry,

(B) The season in which the merchandise is imported,

(C) Whether the difference in value is commercially significant, and

(D) Whether the difference in value is attributable to internal transport costs in the country of exportation.

(ii) Because these factors may vary, Customs will not be able to apply a uniform standard, such as a fixed percentage, in each case. A small difference in value in a case involving one type of imported merchandise may be unacceptable, although a large difference in a case involving another type may be acceptable, in determining if the transaction value closely approximates any of the test values. Customs will be consistent in determining if one value “closely approximates” another value. The same approach will be taken if Customs considers a transaction value that is higher than any of the enumerated test values as will be taken if the transaction value is lower than any of the test values.

Example.
In applying any of the test values, if the transaction value in the sale under consideration is rejected because 95 does not closely approximate 100, then a transaction value for the sale of the same merchandise at 105 occurring at or about the same time likewise would have to be rejected. Similarly, if 103 were considered to closely approximate 100, a transaction value of 97 likewise would closely approximate 100.

(iii) If one of the test values provided in § 152.103(j)(2)(i) has been found to be appropriate, the port director shall not seek to determine if the relationship between the buyer and seller influenced the price. If the Center director already has sufficient information to be satisfied, without further detailed inquiries, that one of the test values is appropriate, he shall not require the importer to demonstrate that the test value is appropriate.

(m)Rejection of transaction value. When CBP has grounds for rejecting the transaction value declared by an importer and that rejection increases the duty liability, the Center director shall inform the importer of the grounds for the rejection. The importer will be afforded 20 days to respond in writing to the Center director if in disagreement. This procedure will not affect or replace the administrative ruling procedures contained in part 177 of this chapter, or any other CBP procedures.

[T.D. 81-7, 46 FR 2600, Jan. 12, 1981, as amended by T.D. 84-235, 49 FR 46888, Nov. 29, 1984; CBP Dec. No. 168-26, 81 FR 93023, Dec. 20, 2016]

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