How can businesses ensure their goods pass through international customs easily? Well, there’s one thing that can help—a commercial invoice. This document isn’t just a bill for the goods being shipped—it provides customs officials with all the necessary information to process the shipment more efficiently and quickly.

What is a commercial invoice template?

A commercial invoice template is a standardized form that businesses use to describe the goods shipped internationally. Unlike a standard invoice businesses use for domestic transactions, a commercial invoice documents an international transaction between the buyer (importer) and the seller (exporter). 

Such a document is essential for:

  • Customs clearance, as it provides the necessary details to assess the goods for duties and taxes.
  • Preventing delays, as it can reduce the risk of hold-ups at customs, providing required information for customs clearance.
  • Proof of transaction, as it serves as a formal record of the sale and includes all the terms of the agreement.
  • Legal and financial aspects, as it provides legal validation of the transaction and financial accounting, which can be necessary for legal disputes regarding the shipment.

How to create a commercial invoice

Any commercial invoices must include the following:

  1. Seller’s details, such as full name, address, and contact information.
  2. Buyer’s details, such as full name, address, and contact information.
  3. The invoice number and date the transaction took place.
  4. Item description, including the quantity, weight, and Harmonized Tariff Codes.
  5. The total value of all items shipped, calculated in the currency of the exporting country. 
  6. Incoterms (International Commercial Terms) agreed upon by the buyer and seller, for instance, FOB (Free on Board), EXW (Ex Works), or CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight).
  7. The mode of transport and delivery.
  8. The seller’s signature.

How to fill out a commercial invoice template

A commercial invoice template will help you avoid common pitfalls, from missing important information to overlooking the details you must include. Here’s how you can fill out a commercial invoice template swiftly and smoothly:

  • Before you begin, learn about the destination country's specific customs regulations to ensure you have included all the necessary details and documentation.
  • Write a detailed description of each item in the shipment.
  • Double-check that the quantities and declared values match the content of your shipment.

Why use a commercial invoice template

Downloading our template of commercial invoice offers you several benefits:

  • Fast and easy preparation of shipping documents to save time and reduce errors.
  • Compliance with international trade regulations.
  • A professional appearance that can enhance your business’s reputation.

Template of Commercial Invoice 

* The template here is provided for reference only, and you should always talk to a professional for all legal matters

A commercial invoice can offer the smooth transition of goods through customs, help prevent delays, and ensure that all duties and taxes are accurately assessed and paid. Download our commercial invoice template, use the tips above, and create a detailed and accurate commercial invoice.

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