Commercial Invoice Template

While you may download a template for a commercial invoice, there is not any specific form that such a document should take but whatever style of commercial invoice you choose, it must contain specific information. A commercial invoice template makes it easier for a company that is shipping goods abroad to ensure that they have the information that is needed in that invoice. You cannot ship goods to another country without a commercial invoice; if something happens to the invoice enroute then your goods will not be allowed to enter the country. An invoice template is like any other document template, it is a specific form of a certain document, which ensures that you have the usual headings and style that's required of that document. In many respects a commercial invoice template is not much different to look at than any other invoice template; the difference is what goes onto the former.

When a company downloads a template and writes up an ordinary, domestic invoice, providing the customer's name, the price (including vat) for goods or services along with the date are written there, there are no other specifics. However, when a company downloads a commercial invoice template it is because they are dealing in foreign trade. You cannot simply export goods or services at random across international borders as there are internationally agreed guidelines as to what information a commercial invoice should contain.

Get the right document for the right goods

Nation states have been specific about what information should be included in a commercial invoice and this is overseen by bodies such as the World Trade Organisation, which regulates foreign trade. Nations adhere to the rules guiding commercial invoicing because it means they can have some degree of regulation over trade with other nations, while at the same time apparently going along with the notion of free trade. Any commercial invoice template that you download or purchase should have space for the names of both the company that is shipping the goods and the company that is carrying them. Other information that needs to be recorded on a commercial invoice includes what sort of goods you are transporting and the name of the country in which they were manufactured.

Complying with the lavws of the land

In accordance with the rules that govern free trade between nations, a commercial invoice also needs to contain certain figures and codes (known as a harmonised system) that have been jointly agreed by countries that are members of the World Customs Organisation. When you ship goods abroad, before they reach the actual buyer, they have to go through the customs area of the country that you are shipping them to.

The code that has been recorded on your commercial invoice template is used by customs to help them calculate the tariff or import duty on the goods that you have exported. At customs, a commercial invoice acts as a custom declaration when you export goods abroad. No matter what style of commercial invoice template you download and use, it will need to have space for all of the relevant information that must be included on such an invoice.