When used in foreign trade, a commercial invoice is a customs document. It is used as a customs declaration provided by the person or corporation that is exporting an item across international borders. Although there is no standard format, the document must include a few specific pieces of information such as the parties involved in the shipping transaction, the goods being transported, the country of manufacture, and the Harmonized System codes for those goods. A commercial invoice must often include a statement certifying that the invoice is true, and a signature.
A commercial invoice is used to calculate tariffs, international commercial terms (like the Cost in a CIF) and is commonly used for customs purposes.
Commercial invoices in European countries are not normally for payment. The definitive invoice for payment usually has only the words "invoice". This invoice can also be used as a commercial invoice if additional information is disclosed.
A sample commercial invoice format
COMMERCIAL INVOICE SENDER:
AUTO PARTS FEE WAREHOUSE
7634 KIMBEL STREET UNIT 1-9
Tax ID/VAT/EIN# nnnnnnnnnn
3 Able End
There, Shropshire, UK
Invoice Date: 12 December 2007 Invoice Number: 0256982 Carrier tracking number: 526555598 Sender's Reference: 5555555 Carrier: GHI Transport Company Recipient's Reference: 5555555 Quantity Country of Origin Description of Contents Harmonized Code Unit Weight Unit Value Subtotal (USD) 1,000 United States of America Widgets 999999 2 10.00 10,000 Total Net Weight (lbs): 2,000 Total Declared Value (USD): 10,000 Total Gross Weight (lbs): 2,050 Freight and Insurance Charges (USD): 300.00 Total Shipment Pieces: 1,000 Other Charges (USD): 30.00 Currency Code: USD Total Invoice Amount (USD): 10,000 Type of Export: Permanent Terms of Trade: Delivery Duty Unpaid Reason for Export: stated reason General Notes: notes and comments The exporter of the products covered by this document - customs authorization number - declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of United States Of America preferential origin.
I/We hereby certify that the information on this invoice is true and correct and that the contents of this shipment are as stated above.
Name, Position in exporting company, company stamp, signature