Tentative Agenda Decision and comment letters: Costs Necessary to Sell Inventories (IAS 2)

 

The IFRS Interpretations Committee (Committee) discussed the following matter and tentatively decided not to add a standard-setting project to the work plan. The Committee will reconsider this tentative decision, including the reasons for not adding a standard-setting project, at a future meeting. The Committee invites comments on the tentative agenda decision. All comments will be on the public record and posted on our website unless a respondent requests confidentiality and we grant that request. We do not normally grant such requests unless they are supported by good reason, for example, commercial confidence.

Tentative Agenda Decision

The Committee received a request about the costs an entity includes as the ‘estimated costs necessary to make the sale’ when determining the net realisable value of inventories. In particular, the request asked whether an entity includes all costs necessary to make the sale or only those that are incremental to the sale.

Paragraph 6 of IAS 2 defines net realisable value as ‘the estimated selling price in the ordinary course of business less the estimated costs of completion and the estimated costs necessary to make the sale’. Paragraphs 28–33 of IAS 2 include further requirements about how an entity estimates the net realisable value of inventories. Those paragraphs do not identify which specific costs are ‘necessary to make the sale’ of inventories. However, paragraph 28 of IAS 2 describes the objective of writing inventories down to their net realisable value—that objective is to avoid inventories being carried ‘in excess of amounts expected to be realised from their sale’.

The Committee observed that, when determining the net realisable value of inventories, IAS 2 requires an entity to estimate the costs necessary to make the sale. This requirement does not allow an entity to limit such costs to only those that are incremental, thereby potentially excluding costs the entity must incur to sell its inventories but that are not incremental to a particular sale. Including only incremental costs could fail to achieve the objective set out in paragraph 28 of IAS 2.

The Committee concluded that, when determining the net realisable value of inventories, an entity estimates the costs necessary to make the sale in the ordinary course of business. An entity uses its judgement to determine which costs are necessary to make the sale considering its specific facts and circumstances, including the nature of the inventories.

The Committee concluded that the principles and requirements in IFRS Standards provide an adequate basis for an entity to determine whether the estimated costs necessary to make the sale are limited to incremental costs when determining the net realisable value of inventories. Consequently, the Committee [decided] not to add a standard-setting project to the work plan.

The deadline for commenting on the tentative agenda decision is 14 April 2021. The Committee will consider all comments received in writing by that date; agenda papers analysing comments received will include analysis only of comments received by that date.

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