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.