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HMRC internal manual

Guidance on the Audit of Customs Values

Reciprocal/barter trading: Case study


A UK importer has a reciprocal trading agreement with a Czech supplier. Under the terms of the agreement, the UK company imports high impact polystyrene and in return exports agricultural machinery and equipment to an equal value. No monetary payment is made.

However, the agreement states that the CIF invoiced value represents the price that would be charged if there were no reciprocal arrangement. The question arose as to how the goods should be valued.


The customs value may be based on the CIF invoiced value under the provisions of Method 1 for the following reasons:

  • Article 70 (2) of the Code acknowledges that payment need not take the form of a transfer of money. The provision of goods as payment forms a non-monetary consideration;
  • Article 70 (3)(b) of the Code does not apply because the non-monetary consideration can be quantified;
  • WCO Advisory Opinion 6.1 does not rule out method 1 except in cases where the transaction is neither expressed nor settled in monetary terms; and
  • WCO Advisory Opinion 1.1 does not list barter as a situation in which imported goods would not be deemed to have been subject to a sale.