We all know that a properly completed commercial invoice is important in ensuring quick and correct delivery.
With this in mind, we've put together this article that explains what these valuable documents include. We also clarify why they should be accurate, as well as providing some additional instructions on how to complete them correctly.
What is a Commercial Invoice?
The commercial invoice is a legal document between the seller and the consumer that specifies the sold products as well as the amount owed to the customer. Customs uses the commercial invoice as one of the primary documents in deciding customs duties. It is a customs document that is used in international trade. It is used as a customs declaration by the person or company exporting an object across international borders. The document must contain a few basic pieces of information, such as the parties involved in the shipping transaction, the goods being shipped, the country of production, and the Harmonized System codes for those goods, despite the fact that there is no uniform format. A declaration certifying the invoice's accuracy and a signature are often required on a commercial invoice.
Do I Always Need a Commercial Invoice?
The key distinction is that all e-commerce shipments need a commercial invoice, while only packages sent through postal services need the additional CN22 or CN23 paper. However, we suggest that you always provide all documents to avoid delays.
Why an Accurate Commercial Invoice is Required
As previously mentioned, the main commercial invoice requirement is that you complete it accurately, before you get your goods shipped. There are a few reasons for this:
It prevents any hold-ups with your shipments (as incorrect information could lead to delays) It ensures your goods are correctly classified and the right taxes and duties are paid
There are legal requirements to complete these correctly
Guidance on Completing your Commercial Invoice Accurately
We've outlined everything you need to know, including what to include and why, to help you avoid any possible problems and fill out these forms correctly, ensuring your deliveries arrive on time.
The following details must be included on a completed commercial invoice:Your Address
To illustrate who is delivering the goods.The Receiver’s Address
To indicate where the shipments are being delivered.The Tariff Code and a Description of the Goods
The Tariff Code is a number that is used to define and categorize your products. This, along with your thorough explanation, will ensure that the correct amount of tax and duty is charged on your products.The Reason for Export
This clarifies why the products are being sent. (Commercial, Gift, Sample, etc.)The Value of the Goods and the Relevant Currency
This information would simply show the value of the products, which should be expressed in the destination currency.The Delivery Terms
This will specify who is responsible for the shipping as well as any applicable taxes.Your VAT and EORI Numbers
Your business should have a VAT number as well as an EORI number, which must be included. These crucial numbers can be obtained from your nearest HMRC office and are used to mark you as a foreign trader to customs.Your Signature
You must sign the document to certify that the information is correct and valid.
Commercial invoice templates are available for download on our website, or you can create your own. This page also includes supplementary instructions for filling out your commercial invoices, as well as a YouTube video if you need additional assistance
So, take our advice and assistance to ensure that you comply with these commercial invoice standards and that your invoice is completed correctly. You'll be on the right track for fast and stable deliveries with your SME if you do it this way.