The Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission sets the rules for including interest charges in customs value
Legal update No 537
Goltsblat BLP advises that decision No. 118 of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission dated 22.09.2015 “On approving the rules for including interest charges in customs value” (the Rules) was published on 23.09.2015 and is due to come into effect on 23.10.2015.
The Rules are based on Decision 3.1 of the WTO Committee on Customs Valuation and determine in which cases interest charges paid in connection with purchase of imported goods are to be included in the customs value.
The Rules define interest charges as interest paid by buyers within the scope of financial relations relating to purchase of imported (valued) goods.
It is noted that the financing arrangements may take the form of a separate agreement, an agreement on financing or a section of a foreign trade contract for sale of goods for export to the customs territory of the Eurasian Economic Union.
Interest payments on financing (including in the form of deferred payment or payment by instalment for goods and bank loans) are not included in customs value, provided that:
they are specified separately from the price, are actually paid or to be paid for the imported (valued) goods;
the financing arrangements are set out in the form of a written or electronic separate financial agreement or part of a foreign trade agreement;
the imported goods are actually sold at the declared price paid or to be paid (i.e., when pricing the goods, the seller does not include interest charges and, even without financial relations with the buyer, the goods would be sold at the same price);
the interest rate is no higher than that typical for similar financial relations in the same country during the given period when the financial or foreign trade agreement is concluded (if it is higher, only the interest calculated at this level may be excluded from the customs value).
The Rules also stipulate that, if a differentiated approach is taken to pricing goods, as manifested in different fixed prices being set depending on when the payment is made for the goods, financing of the purchase may not be excluded from the customs value. In this case, the customs value will be based on the price actually paid by the buyer, proceeding from when the payment is actually made.
Examples are provided to illustrate application of the Rules for determining the customs value in specific cases. Yet some of the provisions still require clarifications, as was noted, in particular, during the discussion of the draft Rules by the Eurasian Economic Commission Working Group for assessing the regulatory impact of the Commission’s draft decisions. For instance, no indication is given of how to determine the interest rates for similar financial relations in the country where the financing is provided for purchasing the goods.
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