How to Determine Customs Value

Posted on LinkedIn today:

Customs entries on imported merchandise involve calculating duties and taxes based on commodity classification (HTS), country of origin, and entry value. In most cases the commercial invoice or CI value is used for duty calculation. In situations where the transaction is not so clear Customs has established an appraisement hierarchy to determine entry value. The details can be found in US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) regulations 19 CFR part 152. Here is a summary:

Appraisement Hierarchy

1) Transaction Value- actual invoice value

2) Transaction Value of identical merchandise- same country, same class and kind

3) Transaction Value of similar merchandise- same country, commercially interchangeable

4) Deductive Value – start with US retail selling price and deduct commissions, transportation, insurance, duty/tax, and value of further processing

5) Computed Value- sum of the following. Importer can request computed instead of deductive.

Cost of Materials

Cost of Labor

Cost of Packaging




6) Value if other values cannot be determined- if the value of imported merchandise cannot be determined it will be appraised on the basis of a value derived from the methods set forth in parts 152.103 thru 152.106.