Exporting: The key elements of a commercial invoice


One of the documents you need to provide to the Customs Authority when you want to export goods is a Commercial Invoice. In this blog post, we will take you through such an invoice and list all the elements that have to be on it.

Who’s Selling?

The invoice needs to show the official registered name of the party/company selling the product. Except for the name and address of the company, you also need several identifying numbers on your invoice:
VAT Number
Chamber of Commerce Registration Number
EORI Number

You can read more on EORI Numbers in this post on Brexit preparations. Please note that an EORI is not Brexit specific, but for all companies exporting from the EU.

Who’s Buying and Where Are the Goods Going?

The name and address of the buyer need to be on the invoice.

What’s Being Sold?

There needs to be a description of the goods that you are exporting. Make sure the correct and full HS Codes are on the invoice as well.

What’s the Value?

The price of the goods needs to be on the invoice as well. This needs to be the actual price paid for the goods.

When Were the Goods Supplied?

The Customs Authority wants to know when the goods are/were supplied. Mention this on your invoice as well.

Where Are the Goods Coming From?

The Customs Authority needs the Country of Origin of the goods as well. Make sure that is on the invoice as well. Please note that different goods can have different Countries of Origin.

What Were the Terms of the Sale?

Make sure the Incoterms are on the invoice as well. This will make it clear for the Customs Authority which party is responsible for what when it comes to paying duties or tariffs.

Are There Other Costs Involved?

An example of Other Costs is the transportation cost. Whether they are on the invoice depends on the Incoterms.

All Clear(ed)?

When all the information mentioned above is correctly put on your invoice, there should be no (invoice related) problems getting your goods to their final destination. Please be aware that you should always check if there are additional requirements. We have summed up what you need in a standard situation.

If you have any questions regarding preparing your Commercial Invoice for Export, or any other export or import related documents, contact one of our experts.

Photo by Immo Wegmann on Unsplash