Trade & investment

ICC Policy Statement on the Misuse of Customs Valuation Databases

  • 11 November 2016

In response to the growing reports of companies around the world on the use of customs valuation databases to set minimum or reference prices for imports declarations, ICC issued the statement on the Misuse of Customs Valuation Databases in October 2015.

While Customs valuation databases serve as a useful tool in risk assessment, an increasing proportion of countries are using these databases in violation of Article 7 of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Customs Valuation Agreement by setting reference or minimum prices for import declarations. Such misuse of databases is increasingly leading to delays, uncertainty and higher trade costs for businesses trading internationally. Adherence to international rules and regulations, by both governments and businesses alike, is vital for an environment that fosters cross-border trade and investment, particularly for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are often disproportionately impacted by higher trade costs.

Consequently, ICC is highly concerned by the growing threat of the misuse of valuation databases and the application of various prohibited valuation methods generally known as “reference pricing.” This ICC Policy Statement outlines eight central recommendations, including a call for greater use of advance rulings and post-entry audits, and a request for further studies on the issue by an intergovernmental organisation. ICC will continue to engage with the WTO, World Customs Organization (WCO) and other intergovernmental organisations, as well as with governments to raise awareness on this important issue.

See related ICC webstory: ICC releases statement on Misuse of Customs Valuation Databases.