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HMRC internal manual

Guidance on the Audit of Customs Values

Used goods


Used or second hand goods fall into two categories:

  1. those not used by the importer before entry into free circulation and
  2. those used by the importer in a non-EU country prior to entry into free circulation.

Basis of value

In the first category, there may be a price paid or payable for the ‘used’ goods. If so, Method 1 may be applied to establish the customs value. If not, the alternative methods of valuation will need to be considered.

In the second category, account is to be taken of ‘usage’ (depreciation) when arriving at the customs value. However, a positive value must be determined for customs duty purposes. Minimal book values, nil values or values for customs purposes only are not acceptable to Customs even if they may be accepted by HMRC for corporation tax purposes.

One approach that would be acceptable to Customs requires an estimate of the life span of the product:

Remaining life of the item x the original purchase price of the goods = depreciated value
Full life of the item        



The usual adjustments (for example for delivery costs - freight and insurance) are then to be made to arrive at the customs value.