Historical Overview of the Wto Agreement on Customs Valuation

The World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement on customs valuation was established in 1980, with the primary objective of enabling member countries to determine the customs value of goods consistently and transparently. The agreement replaced the earlier GATT Valuation Agreement and has played a crucial role in facilitating international trade by promoting fair, predictable, and transparent customs valuation practices.

The agreement outlines the methods for determining the customs value of imported goods, which includes the transaction value method, the transactional value of identical goods method, the transactional value of similar goods method, the deductive value method, the computed value method, and the fallback method. The transaction value method is the primary method used and involves the customs value being the price paid or payable for goods when sold for export to the country of import.

Since its inception, the WTO agreement on customs valuation has played a significant role in shaping global trade. By promoting fair and transparent customs valuation practices, the agreement has reduced the likelihood of trade disputes between countries. Furthermore, it has helped to prevent the abuse of customs valuation procedures, which can be used as a technique to impose trade barriers and limit imports from certain countries.

In addition, the WTO agreement on customs valuation has also facilitated the implementation of a more liberalized trading system. By promoting fair customs valuation practices, the agreement has helped to prevent discriminatory treatment of imports, enabling developing countries to expand their exports and participate more fully in international trade.

The agreement has also undergone significant revisions over the years, with the most recent being the 1994 Valuation Agreement. The revised agreement clarified the methods for determining customs value, expanded the scope of the agreement to cover related parties, and introduced new provisions on the adjustment of customs values.

In conclusion, the WTO agreement on customs valuation has been instrumental in enhancing transparency and consistency in customs valuation practices, promoting fair and predictable trade, and facilitating the implementation of a more liberalized trading system. It remains a critical tool for ensuring that trade flows smoothly between countries, and its continued revision and implementation are crucial to promoting global trade.