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Commercial invoice template

Commercial Invoice Template

The Commercial Invoice is one of the most important documents in trade, detailing things such as the description and value of the goods being shipped as well as shipper information. It is commonly used by customs authorities to assess applicable taxes & duties.

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What is a Commercial Invoice used for?

A Commercial Invoice must be provided for all seafreight and airfreight shipments. When products have been shipped internationally, the exporter will need to create a Commercial Invoice document along with any other shipping documentation to share with the importer to arrange clearance at customs, and in cases where a Letter of Credit was used for payment, the importer will submit the Commercial Invoice to their bank to initiate a release of funds. Customs authorities rely on the description of goods and the value of the goods stated on the Commercial Invoice to determine applicable taxes & duties and it is therefore important that the Commercial Invoice contains all relevant information to avoid importers having any issues or delays when clearing the goods through customs.

How to create a Commercial Invoice

  1. Open IncoDocs

    Open IncoDocs in your browser and navigate to the 'Invoices' section.

  2. Create a new Commercial Invoice

    Click on 'New Invoice' and select the Commercial Invoice from the dropdown menu.

  3. Fill out & customize your doc

    Fill out document info, customize document fields to your needs and add your company letterhead. If you use Xero or Quickbooks Online, you can also connect your account and autofill data from invoices or quotes in your accounting system.

  4. Sign & seal

    Click on the signature box at the bottom of your document to create and place a digital signature then hit “Save & Quit”. On the document preview screen, click on the ‘More’ dropdown button and select “Add company seal” to place a digital stamp.

  5. Download or send

    Download or share invoices from IncoDocs in 1-click. You'll know when recipients have viewed your invoice and recipients can even pay the invoice online via credit card for convenience.

Your questions, answered.

What is the difference between a Proforma Invoice and a Commercial Invoice?

The 2 documents are essentially the same, however, there can sometimes be a difference in the quantity of goods stated on the Commercial Invoice to what is on the Proforma Invoice. This is because the quantity of goods ordered (from the Proforma Invoice) can be different to the actual quantity of goods that have been shipped (on the Commercial Invoice).

This difference can be due to many reasons, however the most common is that a supplier is having manufacturing issues or delays or that the supplier did not correctly plan how many products would fit inside shipping containers. It is because of this disparity that a Commercial Invoice is typically issued after the goods have been delivered or shipped to ensure it accurately represents the final number of goods shipped.

What information is included on a Commercial Invoice document?

Seller’s Details - company name, address and contact information
Buyer’s Details - company name, address and contact information
Method of Dispatch – Road, Rail, Air or Seafreight
Type of Shipment – FCL, LCL, Breakbulk or other
Port of Loading and Port of Discharge (seaport or airport)
Reference Number and Date
Delivery Date
Terms & Method of Payment
Product Descriptions – including item codes/SKUs, Product Descriptions, Unit Quantities, Unit Type & Price
Incoterm® – The selling term agreed
Bank Details – the bank account to which you would like your buyer to pay to
Name, date and signature of authorized company representative