What Is Commercial Invoice? Definition & Sample

What is the commercial invoice for shipping? The commercial invoice is an important customs clearance document that shipping cargo oversea. It provides detailed information on cargo, including value, the quantity of goods, and so on. It also determines duties and taxes. The commercial invoice confirms the exact quantity of the products that have actually been loaded and shipped.

The commercial invoice is the official invoice issued by the exporter to the importer for the receipt of the goods, the payment for the goods, and the customs declaration.

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Proforma invoice vs commercial invoice: what's the difference?

Proforma Invoice (PI) is an informal invoice that contains the name, specifications, unit price, and other information of the cargo. As the name suggests, proforma invoices are not official invoices and are not binding.

As import and export declaration documents, there is also a difference between commercial invoices and proforma invoices.

Commercial invoices are mainly used for declaration documents for large-scale international trade, while proforma invoices are literally understood only in form. The proforma invoice is used for small-value trade, especially online transactions between private individuals, as well as gifts and samples given.

It should be reminded that many customers, especially online sellers, do not have the habit of attaching proforma invoices when shipping cargo. Indeed, in many cases, customs clearance will be carried out without attaching proforma invoices.

However, according to the requirements of customs of various countries, attaching proforma invoices is the basic requirement for mail delivery. , the scale of customs in different countries is different, but it will affect the customs clearance of mail to a certain extent.

How to fill out a commercial invoice?

The commercial invoice must accompany when shipping cargo. It is the buyer’s obligation to ensure that the commercial invoice used for shipping is correctly formatted in order to avoid any delays at Customs. The commercial invoice requirements include:

1) Company name and company number

2) Origin and destination

It is necessary to indicate the port of departure and destination of the goods, and if transshipment is required, indicate the transshipment place.

3) Declared value

Write the product unit price and total price.

4) Place and date

The company place and date are on the top right corner of the invoice. The invoice is the document with the earliest date of issuance, generally no earlier than the date of the contract and no later than the date of signing the bill of lading.

5) Cargo description

You need to fill in the details of the goods such as the weight, name, and type of the goods.

6) Invoice No.

Each invoice has an invoice number, which is uniformly numbered by each company.

7) HS code

HS is a code number created to unify international trade goods and classification worldwide, and is an import and export statistics item number used to classify items when exporting goods.

More cargo information is provided for your customers in the commercial invoice. If you end up claiming on the goods, the main supporting document for the claim is the commercial invoice.

Commercial invoices make the work for you, your customers, border authorities and couriers becoming easier.

Cooperate with a good freight forwarder

Exporting European and North America need to prepare various invoices. ASL can help you get a correct commercial invoice to save shipping time and cost, we have a rich experience to deal with dangerous cargo shipments . Contact us today with questions about your commercial invoice.

Click the bottom below, and we will reply you within 30 minutes.

Commercial invoice sample

If you want to smoothly transport the goods overseas, you should have a commercial invoice for export and customs. Commercial invoices come in many forms, but we provide you with a free template for reference.

digital sample of a blank shipping commercial invoice

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