Commercial Invoice Form

A commercial invoice form is vital if you have a business where you intend shipping goods abroad. Unlike ordinary domestic invoices, a commercial invoice form is not just a list of charges for goods or services and demand for payment.

A commercial invoice form is designed to identify both the supplier and exporter of the goods as well as the name of the shipping company that is carrying them. Any items that are designed for export and foreign trade must have an identifying number. A list of appropriate numbers has been agreed and devised by the countries that go to make up the World Customs Organisation. Along with a description of the goods and its number you also have to name the country where the goods were manufactured.

Check the details

A commercial invoice form should state the price of the goods and where the goods are being shipped to, it should then be signed and witnessed that the information on the form is correct. If you are shipping goods to sell them abroad then the commercial invoice form is very important, if the invoice is not shipped with your goods to the country with which you are trading, then your goods will not be allowed into that country. Your commercial invoice form acts as a declaration to the customs personnel of the country you are shipping to. Customs officers will look at the information on the form, and especially at the number that it has been given because this will help them to work out the tariffs of duty you need to pay to get your goods into the country.

The reason that you are required to give so much specific information on a commercial invoice form is down to the international trade regulations. Countries have borders and although they want to do business with people outside of their domestic sphere they do not want to do so to their own detriment. Trade regulations, which are overseen by the World Trade Organisation are designed to ensure that free trade between one country and another can take place, but it takes place on a strictly regulated basis. It may seem hard to believe but what is considered to be one of the more important documents of international trade is the commercial invoice form. It is not possible to engage in foreign trade without a commercial invoice with the required information.

Service providers and officials in other countries will look first at your commercial invoice form before they look at any other documents, if that is not in order your goods will not be allowed to enter the country. The form should contain all the essential information about the goods that you are shipping and care needs to be taken to ensure that the information contained in the document is correct. When you ship goods abroad a commercial invoice form is a customs requirement. You need two copies of a commercial invoice form, one of the copies is dispatched with the shipment and the second copy has to be attached to the Bill of Lading.