A commercial invoice is a vital billing instrument utilized in international trade, serving as a record of the sales transaction and a customs declaration document for customs clearance. The commercial invoice typically evolves from the pro forma invoice, which serves as the basis and precursor of it and as an initial negotiation tool containing the goods’ particulars and a declaration by the seller.
It enumerates critical details such as the goods’ description, quantity, and unit value, along with the currency. Other must-have information included the identities of the supplier/manufacturer, the buyer, and the final recipient of the goods. These details must align with any related documents such as a Letter of Credit (L/C), to prevent any disruptions.
The commercial invoice provides necessary information for customs clearance, including the Harmonized System (HS) code, which is essential in the determination of tariff categorization and associated import duties. To ensure full compliance with the necessary format of commercial invoices, it is essential to research country-specific prerequisites as a few countries might require specialized forms. In the U.S., for example, the U.S. Schedule B number or HS code might be incorporated to facilitate the clearance process.