Create a Commercial Invoice document for Import Export

What is a Commercial Invoice document?

A Commercial Invoice document is an important trade document used in Global Trade.  When products are shipped Internationally, the shipper will have to provide the buyer with a Commercial Invoice document.  The buyer (importer) will use this invoice and other shipping documents to get the products cleared through customs in the country of import.  In doing so, this provides all important information and instructions for buyers, freight forwarders, Customs, agents and banks (if required).

The International Commercial Invoice does not show tax as International transactions for export may not subject to local taxes.  Therefore, the exporter must ensure that all information is clearly stated in a correctly formatted document to avoid the importer having any issues or delays clearing the goods through customs.

Commercial invoices must be provided for all seafreight and airfreight shipments.  For example, if you are sending airfreight shipments with FedEx or DHL you will have to provide a FedEx commercial invoice or DHL commercial invoice.  

How to create a compliant Commercial Invoice document.

Some Exporters create shipping documents in broken Microsoft Word templates or Excel templates.  If these templates are missing vital information it can cause confusion to buyers and freight forwarders, or can result in costly shipping delays, fines and demurrage charges.

Shippers use IncoDocs to easily create Commercial Invoices, Packing Lists and other important shipping documents.  In addition, all templates are aligned to the United Nations Layout Key recommendations for trade documentation.  This ensures compliance to avoid problems and delays with trade shipments.

How shippers create Commercial Invoice documents for seafreight and airfreight shipments.


What information is included on a Commercial Invoice document?

  • Shipper’s (Exporter’s) company name, address and contact details
  • Consignee’s company name, address and contact detail
  • Buyer (3rd party, if not consignee)
  • Method of Dispatch – Road, Rail, Air or Sea
  • Type of Shipment – FCL, LCL, Breakbulk etc
  • Vessel Name and Voyage Number (optional)
  • Port of loading, port of discharge, final destination
  • Invoice number and date
  • Bill of Lading Number, Marine Cover Policy Number, Letter of Credit Number (optional fields)
  • Country of Origin of goods
  • Country of Final Destination
  • Terms / Method of payment (optional)
  • Detailed product information – including product description, HS code, quantity, unit type, price and currency
  • IncoTerms – Terms of trade
  • Name, date and signature of authorized company representative

See below example of a commercial invoice document form:

Example of Commercial Invoice document used for import export global trade.
A Commercial Invoice documents created using IncoDocs

Are you involved in Global Trade?

Our team created IncoDocs to make global trade easy.  We’re proud to allow companies in over 100 countries to streamline their shipping document process.  Try it for yourself today.   If you need more information speak to one of our trade specialists, we will be happy to answer any of your questions.

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