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HMRC internal manual

Guidance on the Audit of Customs Values

Assists: treatment for valuation purposes

Where the broker is paid by the supplier of the goods, the total brokerage will normally be included in the invoice price. In such cases there is no problem with regard to valuation. In cases where brokerage is not so included but paid separately by the buyer to the seller, it is to be added to the price paid or payable.

Payment of the brokerage

The broker may be paid directly by the buyer, or each of the parties to the transaction may pay part of the brokerage. In these cases the buyer’s share of the brokerage fee should be added to the price actually paid or payable in so far as it has not already been included in the invoice price and does not constitute ‘buying commission’.

Determining the transaction value of the goods

It will be necessary to include in that value commissions and brokerage incurred by the buyer except buying commission. The question of whether or not payments made to intermediaries by the buyer should be added to the price paid or payable for the goods will depend on the final analysis of the role played by the intermediary and not on the term ‘agent’ or ‘broker’ by which he is known.

Payments made in respect of commission or brokerage paid by the seller but which are not charged to the buyer should not be added to the price paid or payable.

Note: It is worth remembering that the existence and nature of services rendered by intermediaries in connection with a sale are often not apparent from the commercial documents presented with the customs declaration. Thus it is necessary to examine the precise nature of the services provided by the broker.