Michael E. Roll


This Comment argues that the Federal Circuit correctly rejected Customs' “most direct cause” test. Part I explains the transaction value of the imported merchandise valuation method and traces its legislative history. In addition, Part I reviews Customs and prior judicial treatment of middleman import transactions. Part II describes the Federal Circuit's decision in Nissho Iwai. Part III argues that Customs' “most direct cause” test is contrary to judicial precedent and unsupported by the legislative history of Section 402. Part III also discusses the implications and limitations of Nissho Iwai for American importers. This Comment concludes that Nissho Iwai represents a significant decision in customs valuation law and U.S. importers that purchase merchandise from non-U.S. middlemen will benefit by paying less duties.