How did the government determine the "value" of the goods being imported? I know that they were ad valorem taxes, but I don't know how they determined the value so that's why I decided to ask.
They believe that the monetary price is the value. They make their decisions as if a goods value is something that is objective
'' The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.'' Stephen Hawking
Good question...I have no idea. Maybe price paid by the importer?
Depends on the jurisdiction, I guess, but here in Latvia, the tax is determined by the sum of declared value of goods plus shipping cost. If customs have any concerns about declared value, the importer must produce "proofs of value", which means the proofs of purchase. So yes, this is cost, not value.