How to prepare an Export Invoice. Contents of Export commercial Invoice:

The information provided here is part of Export Import Online Tutorial

Also read How to prepare an Export Packing list. Contents of Export Packing list   How to prepare Purchase order


An exporter’s point of view, invoice is the prime document in business. Pl find below the contents of Invoice:

1. Exporter /Consigner : The details of party who consigns the goods is mentioned in this column. The name and complete address of consignor to be mentioned with Country name.

2. Consignee: The details of party to whom the consignment is shipped out to be mentioned. Normally, the details of overseas buyer is mentioned. In some cases, when Letter of credit involves, the bank name is mentioned as consignee starting with “To the order of…” If the cargo is re-sold at destination to a third party, said column can be mentioned as “To Order”

3. Buyer: In some cases, consignee may not be the actual buyer. Then the details of buyer other than the consignee is mentioned.

How to prepare an Export Invoice. Contents of Export commercial Invoice 4. Invoice Number and date: This number is the serial number of sale transaction used by a seller. This reference number is quoted at many occasions including authorities to identify the consignment for future reference. This is the reference number against the said sale used internally by the buyer in all future reference and files in office also.

5. Buyer’s order number and date: The purchase order number of overseas buyer is mentioned here. If the shipment is under Letter of credit, the LC number and date is mentioned.

6. Other reference if any: You can mention any other reference number to be declared in related to the said shipment or common.

7. Country of Origin: The country of goods originally manufactured to be mentioned in this column. In some of the cases, the goods are imported to a country and the same goods are exported after re-packed and re-balled. It happens in triangular shipments also. Read more about ‘triangular shipment’ in my previous article.

8. Country of final destination: This is the country where the goods are finally reached.

9. Vessel / Flight: The name of vessel or flight if available. You can also mention the planning vessel or planning flight name. While mentioning vessel name, always write voyage number.

10. ‘Pre carriage by’: The term “Pre carriage by” means, the mode of movement of cargo to port of loading by the shipper. The Pre carriage can be ‘By road’, ‘By Rail’ ‘By air’ or ‘By sea’.

11. Place of Receipt: Place of receipt of goods by carrier after completing export customs procedures. If you (exporter) are situated far from load port, the cargo can be customs cleared at nearest Container Freight station and move to port of loading. If you are completing customs procedures near the load port, the column ‘place of reciept’ and ‘port of loading’ will be the same.

12. ‘Port of Loading’ You can mention the port of loading of goods. It can be airport or sea port of place where you load your goods to aircraft or vessel.

13. Port of Discharge: This is the port where your goods are unloaded from the aircraft or ship to deliver to the buyer’s place. Be alert, the port of discharge column should be filled up with best care. If you handle documentation for different shipments at time, there are chances to get interchanged the port of discharge column. You can imagine, what happens if the same got changed. Shipping Bill is prepared on the basis of Invoice to file with customs clearance procedures. Bill of Lading is prepared on the basis of customs clearance completed shipping bill. Once Bill of Lading released with the change of port of discharge, your cargo will reach to destination where you mentioned ‘the port of discharge’ in the Invoice.

14. Place of Delivery: If your buyer is located far from port of discharge and he need to get the goods near to customs supervised ware house (Container freight station CFS), the Bill of Lading issued at port of loading has to be mentioned the said place of delivery. Once goods unloaded at port of discharge by ship or aircraft, the cargo is moved to the said location. This is the place where importer files customs documents for import and take delivery of cargo. In other words, responsibility of carrier to deliver the goods is up to this place. Importer has to move the goods from place of delivery to final destination of goods at his cost.

15. Terms of Delivery & Terms of Payment: As I have explained in previous articles, the terms of delivery like EX-WORKS,FOB,C&F,C&I,CIF,DDU,DDP etc. as agreed both you and your buyer. Terms of Payment also as explained earlier like LC,DA,DP etc.

16. Marks and number: The details of ‘marking’ you have done on parcels to be exported. Also the number mentioned on the parcel. Suppose you have 10 packages to be exported. You have labeled or marked as 1,2,3,….10 serial numbered on each parcel , and written complete address of consignee and your address under respective heads. Here, you write marks and numbers as, “01 – 10” “As addressed” in the column of ‘marks and numbers’. The proper marking and labeling is very important while shipping less container load (LCL).

17. Number and kind of packages: In this column, you need to mention the total number of packages in the said particular shipment. If you export total 10 packages you can mentioned 10. As you know, there are various kinds of packaging modes. For example: wooden box, drums, corrugated carton boxes, pallets etc. depends up on the nature of cargo. So you can mention the mode of packages you packed the said 10 parcels. If you have packed the said 10 parcels as pallets, you can mention the column of ‘number and kind of packages’ as ’10 pallets’.

18. Description of Goods: The Description details of goods are mentioned in this column. Also be alerted that if the shipment is under Letter of Credit, the words mentioned on LC to be matched exactly with your words in documents. I personally suggest, if any spelling error occurred while releasing Letter of credit, let the same spelling error be in the documentation if not changing the meaning of whole body of description. By this statement, I would like to make you remember once again about the importance of accuracy to be maintained in documentation matching with the words of Letter of Credit. Hope you followed me.

19. Quantity: Number of quantity against which you are selling. Say, you are selling your product per piece and packed 10 pieces in once package and total 10 packages. Means, you are selling 100 pieces. You mention in ‘quantity’ column as 100 pieces. If you are selling on per kg basis, you mention ‘100kgs’ in ‘quantity’ column.

20. Rate: In the column ‘rate’, you have to mention the unit selling price of goods. Say, rate per piece, rate per kg. etc. If you sell at USD 10 per piece, you can mention USD 10.00.

21. Amount: The amount of said goods are mentioned here. As per the above example, you mention USD 1000.00

22. Total: If you do not have further items to be included, you can mention the total amount of invoice. Say as per above example: USD 1000.00

23. Amount in words: Please note, the amount in words to be matched with the amount in figures mentioned.

24. Declaration: While declaring and signing the invoice means, you are stating all information given in invoice is true. The words of declaration mentioned in the invoice may differ from country to country based on their respective law.

25. Authorized signatory, rubber stamp and Date : Means, the person signs on invoice with rubber stamp of the firm. Authorized signatory means, the person to who the exporter authorize to sign invoice on behalf of the exporter.


Also read How to prepare an Export Packing list. Contents of Export Packing list    How to prepare Purchase order


The above information is a part of Import Export Training online

How to prepare an Export Invoice. Contents of Export commercial Invoice:

How to prepare an Export Packing list. Contents of Export Packing list

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Pradi: HI If I purchase any Item online from US on an discounted amount. And I have invoice for the item stating amount(Discouted amount). Do I have to pay for custom duty on Item price after discount or on MRP?

BINDU PRAVEEN: Please guide whether 3 Purchase Orders numbers can be mentioned in a single Commercial Invoice/ Excise invoice and packing list during export for booking in a single shipment through air(DHL Express)

Admin: Hi Bindu Praveen, As per my knowledge and experience, three purchase order can be mentioned in one commercial invoice.

Nagesh: Dear Sir, Buyer is in foreign country Consignee is in india Exporter is in India Is it considered as export ? if so kindly let us know the procedure.

Admin: Hi Nagesh, You may read a post in this website about DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EXPORTER/SHIPPER/CONSIGNEE

Amit: Dear Sir, I am exporting handicraft item for the first time. Please guide me what documents I require for the export by air cargo

Ronak Modi : I want to know what is international standard format for give offer means proforma invoice of international standard. can you help me to get that format?

Nanjunda swamy: Let me introduce my self my name is Nanjuda swamy im working in Garment industry in Mauritius since 4 years, my contract is going to finish in this month, i will back to Bangalore fab 3rd 2016 im a small worker, i want to open a garment export company in Bangalore, i need to get lincese, how to get can you help me please.

vipro ghoshal : My name is vipro ghoshal. i want to direct sell buffalo from india to bangladesh. sir can u plz tell me the whole procedure and the export duty pay to indian gov and import duty to bangladesh gov.

Chetan Patel : We are planing to start new import business. I we don't know what are the documents required for import business before starting business and after exporter ships goods from China. I searched lots of time in many websites but I am got getting what is exactly required for this process. I hope you help me.

munendra singh: Dear sir i wants need ur help becoz i cannot uderstanding.that whose course valuble for export exhusustive post so i wants ur sujestion.

Brad Shah: Dear Sir, My company is located in USA and I sent a consignment to India direct to my friend. Now he is not making payment. How do I collect the due payment ! Any agency or embassy can help me in obtaining the payment ! I shall await your response.

RANVIJAY: dear sir, I want to know what is international standard format for give offer means proforma invoice of international standard. can you help me to get that format?

M Bagul : Dear sir ,How I can get GST credit returns if I will invoicing 0% to EPCG unit??

Umesh gupta: Sir can I get detail about export Bhutan what documents are required for billing I am manufacturing furniture can you give me guidance about this product. Thank you

Yusuf Patel.: Dear sir. good day. We are the ship chandler supply of food stuff ( Not COOKED) on ships call at Indian ports. It is only for the use of crew members working on board. We pay the GST in the market at the time of purchase. Is it possible to supply them without GST? We also do not wants to claim refund. If they pay the invoice amount to us in foreign currency pls guide us how to receive it and what is the rules for that? How we can exchange it? .

A Shiva: Hi Dear Plz Help Me I Want To Know About GSTR1 For Submit How To Submit I Dont Know and How To Follow Invoice Structure Our Busines Export It Development Field So Plz How Submit GSTR1

Devaraj N: Can we put digital signature instead of manual sign in authorized signature col.

Swapnil: Is there any rule which says custom invoice number & commercial invoice number should be same?

tikesh: Thank you for sharing your knowledge in the Export/Import segment. I am reading and learning the process. I am doing a Job in a Pharmaceutical company and we are planning to export the medicines to other countries. Your blog is very helpful to me to get the information about Export and Import. Sir, do we use some common Forms to do the exports. Please share the document from which I can understand the process stepwise.

soma: Trust my email finds you well. I have got your mail id from the website. Came to know that you are a veteran in import export activity. I am very much interested in doing some business where I can export things from India. Can you advise me how I can do business. Looking forward to hearing from you. Warm Regards,

amith: We generally export dairy products to many countries. My question is with the topic "TO THE ORDER OF". We generally make the commercial invoice which has 2 columns namely, Consignee and Notify Party. We generally put Consignee details in the consignee column and left notify party column empty if it is not available or required. I want to know if we can put "To the Order of " under the consignee column and the actual consignee name under the notify column.

samina: I have seen referring to your website for all my export related queries. I am a seller on Amazon exporting Leather Goods. I have a query on invoicing ....since i am an FBA Seller ...I am the consignor and Consignee What should be my invoice amount ... 1. Cost Price of the goods 2. Amazon Selling Price ( which is usually 4 times the cost price) ( The GSP removal in the coming months will have impact) 3. The amount Amazon remits after deduction of charges. It would be very helpful if you can guide me with your expertise in the area.

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