CVA Customs Valuation Agreement: All You Need to Know

The Customs Valuation Agreement (CVA) was adopted by the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 15th April 1980. It is one of the most vital agreements in the realm of global trade. The CVA aims to ensure that the customs value of imported goods is determined uniformly and objectively across all WTO member countries.

What is Customs Valuation?

Customs Valuation is the process through which the customs officials determine the value of an imported product to levy the appropriate tariff. The value of goods can be based on several factors, including the cost of production, transportation and insurance charges, and the selling price in the exporting country.

The Customs Valuation Agreement (CVA)

The CVA is a set of rules to guide customs officials in determining the value of goods during importation. It aims to provide a fair, uniform, and transparent system of determining the customs value of imported goods across all member countries to reduce disputes and ensure a level playing field for all.

The agreement requires the customs valuation to be based on the transaction value of the goods. The transaction value refers to the price paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to the country of importation. This method provides the most accurate value to levy the appropriate tariff.

However, the CVA also provides five other methods that can be used to determine the customs value of imported goods when the transaction value cannot be applied. These methods include the transaction value of identical goods, the transaction value of similar goods, the deductive value method, the computed value method, and the fall-back method.

The agreement also provides guidelines on how to deal with related party transactions, adjustments for differences in quantity, and additional costs incurred beyond the normal transaction value.


The Customs Valuation Agreement (CVA) provides a much-needed framework for customs officials to determine the value of goods imported across all member countries. The strategic implementation of the CVA ensures that the valuation process is transparent, objective, and uniform. It reduces the likelihood of controversies and trade disputes while also ensuring a level playing field for all parties involved in the trade.