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HMRC internal manual

Guidance on the Audit of Customs Values

Branch offices: definition

A ‘branch office’ means a subsidiary place of business (as opposed to a head office), but one which is part of a single legal entity. The following guidance can also be applied to importations by employees or nominees. It cannot, however, be applied to separate partnerships of limited companies which have merely adopted the trading name and appearance of the supplier, or separate legal entities which are partially or wholly owned by the supplier.

Divisions of the same legal entity cannot complete a legal sale between each other, even though goods and money may be exchanged by invoice. Such invoicing can only represent an internal accounting procedure for the firm’s record. Accordingly, a customs value cannot be determined under the provisions of Method 1 based on the invoice value/price. (CVS Conclusion 5 refers).