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HMRC internal manual

Guidance on the Audit of Customs Values

Assists: treatment for valuation purposes

Confirming commission is not considered to be a ‘commission’ in the same way as buying and selling commissions, because it is more in the nature of a premium for insurance against the risk of non payment for the goods.

If the buyer pays the commission to the seller or to a third party as a condition of sale of the imported goods then it is dutiable. The amount may already be included in the price of the goods, shown separately on the invoice or charged separately by the seller or the confirming institution.

Where the buyer initiates the arrangement and pays the charge on his own behalf, the commission is not dutiable because it is not a condition of sale and the payment is not of benefit to the seller.