W.B. Skinner > News > , , , , , > Guide for Understanding the “First Sale Rule” As A Basis for Transaction Value

Guide for Understanding the “First Sale Rule” As A Basis for Transaction Value

In numerous rulings, Customs Headquarters has set forth the following as the legal basis for the “First Sale Rule”. The preferred method of appraisement is transaction value, which is defined as the “price actually paid or payable for the merchandise when sold for exportation to the United States” plus certain statutory additions.

Customs presumes that the transaction value is based on the price paid by the importer. An importer may request appraisement based on the price paid by the middleman to the foreign manufacturer in situations where the middleman is not the importer. However, it is the importer’s responsibility to show that the “first sale” price is acceptable under the standard set forth in Nissho lwai. That is, the importer must present sufficient evidence that the alleged sale was a bona fide “arm’s length sale,” and that it was “a sale for export to the United States” within the meaning of 19 U.S.C. § 1401a.

The importer must provide a description of the roles of the parties involved and must supply relevant documentation addressing each transaction that was involved in the exportation of the merchandise to the U.S. The documents may include, but are not limited to purchase orders, invoices, proof of payments, contracts, and any additional documents (e.g., correspondences) that establish how the parties deal with one another. The objective is to provide CBP with “a complete paper trail of the imported merchandise showing the structure of the entire transaction.”

Learn more about the “First Sale Rule” and the documents required to support a “First Sale” claim in the attached guide prepared for WB Skinner by Attorney Robert A. Calandra.

View and download the guide HERE.