What is a Commercial Shipping Invoice?
A commercial shipping invoice is the primary document for imports, it helps identify products for the imports department. Departments can determine the correct duties, fees, and taxes based on your Commercial Invoice.
For fast and efficient customs clearance when shipping outside the US, it’s important to complete your commercial invoice correctly. Invoices are seen as a contract between the buyer & seller. They are usually prepared by the exporter and required for foreign buyers to claim ownership of the property once it’s delivered. This billing statement is to be included with all products/commodities being shipped- other than documents.
So how do you fill it out correctly?
For a UPS invoice it is suggested:
- Complete name and address information for both shipper and consignee
- Phone numbers for both shipper and consignee
- Port of Entry- what is the destination of the shipment?
- Terms of Sale
- Reason for export
- A complete description of the item (What is the item? What is the item used for?)
- Harmonized Tariff Codes, if known
- Country of origin (where manufactured) for each commodity
- Number of units, unit value, and total value (purchase price) of each item
- Number of packages and total weight
- Shipper’s signature and date
Generally speaking, the commercial invoice is the ticket to clearance when it comes to international trade. OTher benefits to commercial invoices are: help with branding your business, keeping accurate records and making sure you get paid. For more information for commercial invoices visit US gov general requirements.