The World Trade Organization (WTO) Valuation Agreement sets out rules to determine the customs value of imported goods. However, imports of the same goods in different countries are valued using different valuation methodologies. Currently, major trading nations of the world ― the European Union (EU), the United States (US) and Japan ― accept some form of a ‘first sale rule’. This article summarises the current application of the first sale rule in the EU and the US, analyses and rebuts the position taken in the World Customs Organization (WCO) Commentary 22.1, and discusses recent developments in both the EU and the US. It concludes that the reasoning of the Commentary is flawed and that the first sale rule should not be discarded.
This article was first published in the World Customs Journal, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 45-52, www.worldcustomsjournal.org, and is re-published on this website with the permission of the World Customs Journal.