Commercial Invoices

What you need to know

A signed invoice is required when shipping any non-document consignments internationally. It states the description, cost and any other charges that might be involved in the shipment of the goods. It is important to ensure that the information on the invoice is consistent and accurate. It is the foundation of all other international documents and is the first document we recommend to be completed when preparing an international shipment.

A Commercial Invoice is used when the goods being shipped are part of a commercial transaction or if they are intended for sale.

A Pro Forma Invoice may be used if the goods being shipped have no commercial value or if they are being shipped between private individuals

  1. The word "invoice" must be included on every commercial invoice. “Pro Forma” invoices can only be used when items with no commercial value are being shipped or in countries that allow them.
  2. Sender company name, contact person and address.
  3. Receiver company name, contact person and address.
  4. Invoice Date.
  5. Invoice number.
  6. Full description of each item being shipped. The description should be as precise as possible. List the name, what it is, what it’s made of, and what its used for to enable correct Customs Tariff Classification.
  7. Country of origin (where it was manufactured) for each type of goods being shipped.
  8. Optional - Please try to include this information - also referred to as an “HS code”. In the event a HS Code is not provided, a full and accurate description of goods MUST be supplied.
  9. Quantity of each item being shipped
  10. Clearly state the currency in which the value of the goods is expressed.(i.e. USD, GBP)
  11. Total value of all goods in each line and total covered by the invoice.
  12. Incoterms ® is based on the transaction and payment between the seller and buyer of the goods and the official point of hand-over of responsibility. This lets customs authorities identify the owner of the shipment at every step of its journey.
  13. Gross weight (including packaging) and net weight (excluding packaging). Indicate whether lbs or kg.
  14. The following 2 statement must appear:

    "I declare all of the information to be true to the best of my knowledge."

    “These commodities, technology, or software were exported from the United States in accordance with the Export Administration Regulations. Diversion contrary to U.S. law is prohibited.”

  15. The invoice must have the name, signature and date it was completed.

Note: Customs requirements vary from country to country and may change without notice.

Read more about Customs