Customs Valuation and Transfer Pricing

Reconciling the Conflicting Customs Valuation Requirements in Related-Party Transactions

Recording of a 90-minute CLE/CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, January 7, 2010

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will discuss how customs and IRS related-party pricing rules compare and contrast, how compensating adjustments impact customs value, how advance pricing agreements (APA) and transfer pricing studies affect the customs reasonable care requirement, and how to manage customs related-party risks.


Importers into the U.S. that purchase goods from related parties must declare the value of imported goods on an entry-by-entry basis to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Though importers would like to use a single value for both Customs and IRS purposes, that doesn't always work.

Importers struggle to reconcile the conflicting Customs and IRS valuation rules concerning merchandise imported from related parties. Transfer pricing documentation is insufficient for Customs to support the use of transaction value.

Generally, related-party prices are only acceptable if the parties’ relationship did not influence the price, and importers must be able to demonstrate this to Customs. Counsel plays a key role in reconciling the valuation issues and making a case for an import valuation to Customs and the IRS.

Listen as our authoritative panel examines valuing imports for U.S. Customs purposes and the potential impact of Customs values on income tax valuation. The panel will also offer strategies for managing related-party risks.



  1. Customs value
    1. Methods
    2. Differences in approach: Customs v. transfer pricing
  2. Customs and tax related party pricing rulings
    1. Are the parties to the transaction sufficiently related so that their relationship could be affecting the price?
    2. If so, how is the correct price to be measured?
  3. Compensating adjustments impact on customs value
    1. Application of transaction value
    2. How adjustments should be taken into account
    3. Treatment of increases and decreases
  4. Customs reasonable care requirement
    1. Impact of APAs
    2. Impact of transfer pricing studies
  5. Managing customs related party risks
  6. Potential impact of customs value on income taxes
    1. IRC section 1059A


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What tests are used for determining if the transaction value is acceptable?
  • What factors must be considered before declaring an import value based on transaction value?
  • What steps can importers take to harmonize customs and income tax valuation requirements?


Luis A. Abad
Luis A. Abad

Senior Manager, National Tax, Trade and Customs Services

He assists clients in addressing their customs duty and value added tax liabilities, and international trade...  |  Read More

Lars-Erik A. Hjelm
Lars-Erik A. Hjelm

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

He focuses on customs law and policy. His experience covers the commercial and enforcement laws and policies that CBP...  |  Read More

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