How to calculate customs clearance charges

When importing a consignment of goods from outside the EU, you need to provide the details of its value to the HMRC and you may need also a valuation declaration.

Why? HRMC uses the import value to calculate the customs duty payable on your imported goods and the import VAT.

Customs Clearance UK services

With over 41 years experience in customs clearence UK services, we facilitate efficient customs clearance for shipments arriving at all major UK ports and airports, including Felixstowe, East Midlands, Birmingham, Southampton among others.

Please contact us with your customs clearance requirements by calling +44 (0)20 8539 8899 or emailing

Methods of calculating import value

Calculate on the basis of…
Try the next method if…
the transaction value – the price payable to the seller
there has been no sale of goods
the customs value of identical goods, produced in the same country as your imports
Calculate on the basis of…
the customs value of similar goods, which must be: produced in the same country, able to carry out the same tasks and commercially interchangeable
there are no similar goods
the selling price of the goods (or identical or similar goods) in the EU
there are no EU sales of the goods
the production cost of the goods, including the cost of any materials, manufacturing and any other processing used in production
production cost information is unavailable
reasonably adapting one of the previous methods to fit unusual circumstances

Method 1

This method is applicable for over the 90% of import consignments.

You should add to the calculation…

  • delivery to the EU border
  • most commissions (except buying commission)
  • royalties and licence fees paid by you on the imported goods as a condition of sale
  • containers and packing
  • any proceeds of resale the seller will receive
  • goods and services you provide to the seller for free or at a reduced cost – eg components incorporated in the imported goods, or development and design work carried out outside the EU and necessary for the production of the imports

Please note that they might be already included in the seller’s price.

You can exclude from the calculation…

customs clearance service
  • delivery costs within the EU
  • EU duties or taxes
  • taxes paid in the country of origin or export
  • quantity and trade discounts and those relating to cash and early settlement, that are valid at the time the goods are valued
  • dividend payments to the seller
  • marketing activities related to the imports
  • buying commission
  • export quota and licence costs
  • interest charges
  • rights of reproduction
  • post-importation work, eg construction or assembly
  • management fees

Note that you will need to meet certain conditions.

Value for import VAT

How to calculate the value for VAT purposes

You must add all of the following items to the goods’ value for duty, unless they have already been included:

  • all incidental expenses incurred up to the goods’ first destination in the UK, eg commission, packing, transport and insurance
  • all such incidental expenses that result from transporting the goods to a further destination within the EU (if that destination is known when you import the goods)
  • any customs duties or levies payable on import to the UK
  • any excise duties or other charges payable on import to the UK

Call us on +44 (0)20 8539 8899 or email