On March 1, 2018, the European Commission opened a public consultation on the possibility of introducing binding rulings for customs valuation purposes. The outcome of the consultation may be a legislative proposal to introduce so-called Binding Value Information at European Union level. This is a good opportunity for businesses to provide input and urge for more certainty (and easier compliance) around the valuation of goods imported into the EU.

The current EU system allows a company to obtain a decision from the customs authority of an EU Member State on the classification and/or origin of goods. These decisions, called Binding Tariff Information and Binding Origin Information, respectively, are legally binding throughout the EU. Such a system does not exist at EU level for customs valuation purposes, however (although some Member States are prepared to give such a ruling limited to imports in their country only).

To create a legal framework for binding value decisions applicable in all EU countries, the Commission is gathering information from stakeholders on:

  • the need for an EU-level customs valuation process; and
  • the potential scope of the Binding Value Information, identifying those components of the customs value of goods (e.g., transfer pricing, price paid, royalties and license fees) that should be covered by such decisions.

The Commission invites all interested stakeholders to complete a questionnaire. The deadline for submitting responses is June 1.

The Commission will publish a report in the third quarter of 2018 summarizing the outcome of the consultation, most likely followed by a legislative proposal.