Do I Need to Provide a Commercial Invoice for International Freight Shipments?

The commercial invoice is a mandatory document for all international shipments of commodities and serves as the basis for all other international shipping documents. It is the main document used by most foreign customs agencies for import control, valuation and determination of duties. When you ship products internationally, you must comply with very specific documentation, and one of the most common and important documents you'll need for every shipment is a commercial invoice. It is essential to have all the necessary information for customs to process your shipment correctly.

Are you thinking of shipping products to the U. S.? Being well versed in the required documentation and licenses simplifies the shipping process. Let's take a look at some of the most important documents needed to ship to and from the U. S.

A commercial invoice is the most important document used in shipping. It acts as a proof of sale that indicates all the details about the financial interactions between the sender and the recipient, including details about shipping, conditions, taxes, and so on. It is a mandatory and legally required document during shipment to and from the U. S.In the US, it is also used for customs declaration by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Any falsification or lack of information in the commercial invoice could result in the total rejection of the cargo or even serious legal ramifications. That's why sellers (or exporters) are encouraged to provide accurate information in this document. You can't start the shipping process without a commercial invoice. The Bill of Lading (BoL) is a negotiable document, that is, it is signed by the carrier, shipper and recipient or their respective agents. However, when the BoL is not negotiable, it does not constitute a title to property.

While the shipper issues a commercial invoice, the carrier issues a bill of lading. Unlike a bill of lading, a commercial invoice does not show ownership or title to the goods sold. If the importer submits all the documents, obtaining a customs bond will take 2 to 5 business days. Ongoing bonds don't expire, as long as the importer pays an annual premium to the bond company that issues them. The company issues a bond termination letter if you don't pay the premium.

That's when the customs bond comes into effect. Suppose that the importer does not pay or refuses to pay the taxes and duties collected. In that case, CBP will collect the outstanding amount from the bond company that issued the customs bond. The company can then use the customs bond as a legal document to collect the amount from the importer. Also known as a Declaration of Origin (DO), a Certificate of Origin certifies that products shipped are obtained, produced, manufactured or processed in a particular country and may be subject to authentication by an authorized party. The International Chamber of Commerce issues guidelines for commercial invoices; however, it is not a mandatory document.

However, many business owners who import products require a CO to verify product authenticity. Senders can also refer to packing list as packing slip, delivery list, delivery note, package list or shipping list. A packing list is a mandatory document and must accompany every U. S. export shipment.

It is a document confirming goods in container; it also specifies driving instructions, units and other important details about exported freight. An accurate packing list ensures faster inspection at customs reducing costs and time for recipient. Customs officers use it to check if freight complies with data indicated on commercial invoice, bill of lading and other documents. Yes, packing list is useful when shipping dangerous goods as it acts like safety data sheet; no packing list and bill of lading are different documents used for different purposes while BoL represents title of ownership packing list reports actual specifications of products. Delivering your cargo in and out of U. becomes less burdensome if you know required shipping documents; make sure you fill them out accurately and legibly to avoid shipping problems. Courier services such as UPS or DHL also require commercial invoice for international shipments as it helps them transport goods to end customer; commercial invoice is legal document between exporter and buyer (in this case foreign buyer) that clearly indicates goods being sold and amount customer must pay. The commercial invoice is one of main documents used by customs to determine customs duties; governments often use these documents to determine true value of goods when assessing customs duties; governments that use commercial invoicing to control imports usually specify its form content number of copies language used other characteristics. International shipping more complex than domestic shipping; items shipped internationally must be accompanied by appropriate documentation; one most important documents is commercial invoice that contains all information necessary for customs to process shipment; without commercial invoice shipments can be delayed or held at customs; it is legal requirement to complete commercial invoice accurately for international shipments. As they are also used for customs declaration purposes any misinformation can lead incorrect payment of duties taxes as well as legal ramifications that could result imposition of fine; commercial invoice mandatory document when transporting cargo from United States internationally; it required by U. And customs destination countries check legality shipment goods determine customs duties; freight without attached commercial invoice cannot be dispatched international shipping from U.

S.If for some reason there no commercial invoice available or shipping from U. Household items personal belongings then valued packing list can replace commercial invoice duly archived packing list for...