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How to save on import taxes? or Which is the place where the goods are brought into EU?

2023-02-15

Question: Goods FOB Singapore are shipped to Tallinn. Rotterdam is the port of transshipment (containers are only moved from one vessel to another). What transportation costs - Singapore-Rotterdam (€ 2,000) or Singapore-Tallinn (€ 3,000) - should be included into the dutiable value of goods upon their importation in Estonia?

Let's start with the legal basis of the customs value of goods. Article 71 of the Union Customs Code, ‘Elements of transaction value’, states that for the determination of the customs value in accordance with Article 70, ‘Method of customs valuation based on the transaction value’, the price actually paid or payable for the imported goods shall be supplemented by, inter alia, the cost of transport of the imported goods up to the place where the goods are brought into the customs territory of the Union.

It is therefore important to determine the place of ‘where the goods are brought into the customs territory of the Union’ for customs valuation purposes. The rules of determination can be found in the Implementing Act of the Union Customs Code (Regulation 2015/2447), Article 137: 

  • ‘For the purposes of Article 71(1)(e) of the Code, the place where the goods are brought into the customs territory of the Union shall be: (a) for goods carried by sea, the first port of entry of the goods into the customs territory of the Union;’ and 
  • ‘…where the goods are brought into the customs territory of the Union and then carried to a destination in another part of that territory through territories outside of the customs territory of the Union, the place where the goods are brought into the customs territory of the Union shall be the place where goods were first brought into that customs territory, provided that the goods are carried directly through those territories by a usual route to the place of destination.’

Continue reading the article How to save on import taxes? or Which is the place where the goods are brought into EU? by Enrika Naujokė, published in the Customs Compliance & Risk Management Journal, Issue 19, February / March 2023.

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