Commercial invoice

The document recording a transaction between the seller and the buyer. Commercial invoices are normally prepared by sellers, and should include the following information:

  • Date, names, and commercial addresses of the seller and the buyer.
  • Precise denomination and quantity of goods.
  • Unit and total price of the goods in the agreed currency.
  • Means and conditions of payment.
  • Delivery terms of the goods (it refers to Incoterms published by the International Chamber of Commerce). Nowadays the version in force is that of the year 2010. Apart from the above mentioned data, which are demanded in the regulation in force, this document must also include:
  • Seller´s and buyer´s identification for VAT purposes (in intra-communitarian operations).
  • Order reference number.
  • Origin of the goods.
  • Tariff code of the goods
  • Means of transport.
  • A signature by an authorized person at the seller´s company, if required by the buyer´s government.

The commercial invoice on itself does not grant any ownership of the goods, unless it has an attached document proving the importer’s payment for the total amount. The number of copies of the invoice (both original and copies) required for the delivery of the goods, must be agreed with the importer. Usually, invoices are issued with the original and two copies. Although normally the legislation in different countries does not limit the number of originals, it is not advisable to make more than those strictly necessary in order to accomplish with the customs needs required by the buyer. It is advisable that the importer confirms with the exporter all data that the invoice must provide before its issuing, as well as the particularities it must include in order to accomplish with the regulation of the destination country. See proforma invoice. Model of International Commercial Invoice.

Related entries