(i) FP, a Country X corporation, designs and manufactures machinery in Country X. FP’s costs are incurred in Country X currency. USSub is the exclusive distributor of FP’s machinery in the United States. The price of the machinery sold by FP to USSub is expressed in Country X currency. Thus, USSub bears all of the currency risk associated with fluctuations in the exchange rate between the time the contract is signed and the payment is made. The prices charged by FP to USSub for 1995 are under examination. In that year, the value of the dollar depreciated against the currency of Country X, and as a result, USSub’s gross margin was only 8%.
(ii) UD is an uncontrolled distributor of similar machinery that performs distribution functions substantially the same as those performed by USSub, except that UD purchases and resells machinery in transactions where both the purchase and resale prices are denominated in U.S. dollars. Thus, UD had no currency exchange risk. UD’s gross margin in 1995 was 10%. UD’s average gross margin for the period 1990 to 1998 has been 12%.
(iii) In determining whether the price charged by FP to USSub in 1995 was arm’s length, the district director may consider USSub’s average gross margin for an appropriate period before and after 1995 to determine whether USSub’s average gross margin during the period was sufficiently greater than UD’s average gross margin during the same period such that USSub was sufficiently compensated for the currency risk it bore throughout the period. See § 1.482– 1(d)(3)(iii) (Risk).