Shipping Terms Glossary

Shipping Terms Glossary
Commercial Invoice (CI)

Commercial Invoice (CI)

The Commercial Invoice describes the entire export transaction and shipping terms, and it is used to calculate your import duties and taxes.

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What is a Commercial Invoice?

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The Commercial Invoice (CI)Β is a legal document describing the entire export transaction and shipping terms: the prices, value of the goods, payment terms, and total invoice value.

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free commerical invoice template download

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Download free template
Commercial Invoice

Why do you need a Commercial Invoice?

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It provides the total value of your shipment, which is then used to calculate your import duties and taxes.

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Is it a must-have?

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Yes! It is one of the most important documents you will need to carry out your shipment.

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Who prepares the Commercial Invoice?

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The factory or the seller.

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What information should a Commercial Invoice contain?

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A good Commercial Invoice must contain the following:

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β€’ Shipping transaction (date, invoice number, terms of sale)

β€’ Details of goods being transported ( packing list )

β€’ Harmonized System Codes for those goods (aka HS Codes)

β€’ Details of the exporter and receiver

β€’ Country of origin (country of manufacture)

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Sales Value vs Purchase Value. Which should you put on your Commercial Invoice?

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It depends on who you’re shipping to.

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As a buyer, if you're shipping to your warehouse , put Purchase Value! You don’t want to pay unnecessary duties and taxes.

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As a buyer, if you're shipping to your retailer’s warehouse or your customer, put Sales Value! You don’t want your retailer or customer to know your purchase price.

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Note: Taxes and duties will be based on the total value listed on the Commercial Invoice.

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Cristian Ungureanu

Logistics nerd and resident marketing guy of Bookairfreight. I love writing content that simplifies old-fashioned industry processes and provides solid, accurate information you can base your decisions on. Outside of logistics, I enjoy nature, hanging out with friends, electronic music and spirituality.

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