How to Make a Commercial Export Invoice?

How to Make a Commercial Export Invoice?


A commercial invoice, like other kinds of invoice, is a document which a service provider sends to a client as a bill for the goods or merchandise being sold. A commercial export invoice is a commercial invoice primarily issued when an individual or an organization exports goods internationally.

When trading outside of the country, service providers use a commercial export invoice for customs purposes. A commercial export business invoice contains information needed for the preparation of the other documents necessary for an export to be approved and legalized.

What to Include in a Commercial Export Invoice

A commercial export invoice is a document which carries the agreement between a service provider and a client upon an export process. It may include the following contents:

  • An printable invoice number unique for each invoice.
  • Date the invoice was prepared.
  • Reason or reasons for export.
  • Service provider’s name, company address, contact information, and tax identification number (if any).
  • Client’s name, company and personal address, contact information, and tax identification number (if any).
  • Address of shipment destination, date and time of shipment and arrival (may include the mode of shipment).
  • Instructions for shipment.
  • Description of the merchandise provided, including name of items, country of origin, currency, grade or quality, product classification, quantity, price per unit, etc.
  • Terms of sale.
  • Terms of payment, including the total payable amount and due date of payment (along with sales tax or discounts, if any).
  • Any additional certifications, statements, or requirements by the buyer’s country.

Importance of a Commercial Export Invoice

A commercial export free invoice typically serves many importance to a service provider who specializes in exporting. Here are some of them:

  • For inspection purposes and customs clearance.
  • Serves as a customer’s claim slip or document.
  • Can be used as a basic statement of transaction.
  • Proof that the service provider has rendered the correct product to the customer.
  • Can be used to determine proof of the value and quality of goods.
  • Serves as one of the preliminary documents before export.
  • Can be used for accounting purposes (applicable for both the service provider and customer).
  • For bank transactions and/or negotiation of documents.

How to Prepare a Commercial Export Invoice

A commercial export simple invoice includes information necessary for a shipment to be cleared for export. Here are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for a commercial export invoice.

  • Assign an invoice number unique for each invoice.
  • Decide for the invoice template or design.
  • Create your own template using tools such as reports in Microsoft Excel.
  • Complete the invoice using the correct information regarding the export.
  • Input additional details about the transaction.
  • Provide a detailed description for each item along with the individual unit prices.
  • Give the total amount for all the items provided.
  • Sign your commercial export invoice.
  • Create a back up copy for your invoice.
  • Review for any errors. You need to make sure the information you included in your invoice is accurate.
  • Check for additional supporting documents. This will depend on the requirements given by the country of destination or other authorities assigned to keep track of the shipment.