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Instrument on Valuation of imported goods purchased in flash sales

27 May 2019

The Technical Committee on Customs Valuation (Technical Committee) has at its 48th Session held from 13 – 17 May 2019 adopted an instrument (Advisory Opinion 23.1) with respect to the valuation of goods purchased in a flash sale.

The two issues submitted by Mauritius to the Technical Committee were whether a highly discounted price of goods purchased in a flash sale could be accepted as the basis for Customs valuation under Article 1 and whether the discounted price could be used to determine the transaction value of identical or similar goods for which there is no transaction value.

The Technical Committee reaffirmed transaction value as the primary basis of valuation under the Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of the GATT 1994 and concluded that the highly discounted price is acceptable for Customs valuation purposes provided that the provisions of Article 1 are met.

On the second issue, the Technical Committee also found that the transaction value in a flash sale may be used when applying Article 2 or Article 3, as the case may be, if all the requirements of these Articles are satisfied.

The adoption of this instrument is timely and will be of assistance to Customs Administrations and the Trade, particularly with the development of e-commerce.

This Advisory Opinion will be submitted to the WCO Council for approval at its Sessions of June 2019.

An unapproved copy of the instrument has been posted on the website of the WCO.

DISCLAIMER: THIS TEXT HAS BEEN ADOPTED BY THE TECHNICAL COMMITTEE ON CUSTOMS VALUATION AND IS SUBJECT TO APPROVAL BY THE WCO COUNCIL