Most customs duties and value added tax (VAT) are expressed as a percentage of the value of goods being declared for importation. Thus, it is necessary to dispose of a standard set of rules for establishing the goods' value, which will then serve for calculating the customs duty.
The EU imported 1.68 trillion euro worth of goods in 2014. It is vitally important that the value of such commerce is accurately measured, for the purposes of
- economic and commercial policy analysis,
- application of commercial policy measures,
- proper collection of import duties and taxes, and
- import and export statistics.
These objectives are met using a single instrument - the rules on customs value.
The EU applies an internationally accepted concept of 'customs value'.
The value of imported goods is one of the three 'elements of taxation' that provides the basis for assessment of the customs debt, which is the technical term for the amount of duty that has to be paid, the other ones being the origin of the goods and the customs tariff.
For the calculation of customs duties see all the relevant pages.