In response to an increase of importers submitting transfer pricing Voluntary Disclosure requests without first applying to the Australian Border Force (ABF) Valuations team for variation amendments, the ABF has reconfirmed their processes.

The Customs Valuation provisions were established in the Customs Act 1901 and are highly technical. This includes the methodology of calculating and reporting on transfer pricing.

To support companies meeting their transfer pricing obligations, the ABF’s Valuations team approves transfer pricing methods which remains valid for five years. However, when transfer pricing methodologies change, companies have been missing a step in the process when voluntarily disclosing discrepancies or changes in the transfer pricing associated with their imports.

There are two main applications the Valuations team assesses:

  • Approval for a valuation advice where the valuation method does not provide a stated end of year transfer pricing adjustment range; or
  • Approval for a valuation advice which provides an approved end of year transfer pricing adjustment range.

The above scenarios affect a range of companies including import distributors, manufacturers, life sciences, medical equipment, luxury goods and automotive companies.

As the economy continues to fluctuate in response to constrained supply chains, new demands and new markets, it’s imperative that companies ensure they are responsive to the ABF regarding to changes to its customs valuation. This includes variation requests being made to the Valuation team before seeking Voluntary Disclosure or other ABF approvals.

Valuations and transfer pricing strategies are highly technical and approvals require extensive documentation. We can support you to review your current methodologies and help create strategies that are responsive to the evolving marketplace. We also strongly recommend a thorough review of valuation and transfer pricing methodologies in the lead up to the expiry of the ABF’s five year methodology approvals.

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