INFORMATION ON IMPLEMENTATION AND ADMINISTRATION
OF THE AGREEMENT ON CUSTOMS VALUATION
CHECKLIST OF ISSUES
The following communication, dated 17 December 2019, is being circulated at the request of the delegation of the Dominican Republic.
1. Questions concerning Article 1:
(a) Sales between related persons:
(i) Are sales between related persons subject to special provisions?
No. The provisions established in Article 1.2 of the Agreement and the definitions established in Article 15.4 apply, as reflected in Article 10 of Decree 36-11 issuing the Customs Valuation Regulations (hereinafter: Decree 36-11).
(ii) Is the fact of intercompany prices prima facie considered as grounds for regarding the respective prices as being influenced?
No. In principle, the fact that the buyer and the seller are related does not mean that any influence is presumed. However, where a price declared by a person related to a supplier is lower than prices previously accepted by the Directorate-General of Customs (hereinafter: Customs) for identical or similar goods imported at or about the same time by buyers unrelated to the seller, the relationship may be considered to have influenced the price. An investigation on the basis of reasonable doubt is then launched.
(iii) What is the provision for giving the communication of the above-mentioned grounds in writing if the importer so requests (Article 1.2(a))?
Article 10(I) of Decree 36-11 provides as follows: "If on the basis of the aforementioned elements, Customs has doubts as to whether the declared price was affected by the relationship, this fact shall be communicated to the importer." In other words, Customs does not require the importer to request communication of the grounds in writing but provides them of its own accord.
(iv) How has Article 1.2(b) been implemented?
Article 10(II) of Decree 36-11 provides as follows: "In responding to a communication of the type described in the above paragraph, the importer must provide the customs administration with documentary evidence showing that the value was not influenced by the relationship, through one of the following means:
a. An analysis of the circumstances surrounding the sale.
b. The use of test values.
For the latter test, in determining whether the declared value closely approximates to a test value, the following factors should be considered on a case-by-case basis:
(a) The nature of the good.
(b) The nature of the industry.
(c) The time‑period of importation; that is, whether the goods considered were imported at or about the same time".