First Sale Customs Valuation: Legally Lowering the Landed Costs of Goods
The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel
January 2015
Special counsel Laura Rabinowitz authored The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel article “First Sale Customs Valuation: Legally Lowering the Landed Costs of Goods.” The author outlines ways companies that import goods into the United States can reduce duty liability through the “First Sale Rule.” The First Sale Rule enables importers to lawfully decrease their duties by entering commodities at a lower value than the price paid to the foreign vendor. Laura delineates the legal requirements of a First Sale transaction, which include two bona fide sales between the buyer and seller, confirmation that goods are destined to import to the U.S. at the first sale, and prices of merchandise that are not influenced by the relationship or negations between the buyer and seller. Laura also provides practices that can help manufacturers successfully execute First Sale Rule transactions such as establishing good working relationships with vendors and preparing sales with foreign suppliers with careful precision.