Importance of Commercial Invoice in Export and Import

Commercial Invoice under International Trade

Importance of Commercial Invoice in Export and ImportA commercial invoice is the seller's bill for merchandise or goods sold by him. Invoice contains all the particulars and details in respect of name and address of seller (exporter name and address of buyer (importer), date, exporter's reference number, importer's refer number, description of goods, price per unit at particular location, quantity, total value, packing specifications, terms of sale (FOB, CIF etc), identification marks of the package; total number of packages, name and number of the vessel or flight, bill of lading numb-e Place and country of destination, country of origin of goods, reference to letter of credit opened, terms of payment, and finally signature of the exporter etc.

From the details, it also clear that invoice is an important and basic export document. It is also known as 'DOCUMENT OF CONTENTS' as it contains all the important information necessary for the preparation for the preparation of other export documents.

For many countries, there are no prescribed special invoice forms. Exporters can use their normal invoices used for indigenous trade for exports made outside the country too and show the particulars required by the importer in terms of the contract. However, there are special invoicing procedures in respect of exports to certain countries like Canada, U.S.A and Australia. Some countries like Uganda, Mexico, Sudan and Tanzania require special customs invoices.

Information about the special invoice forms required can be gathered from the respective Export Promotion Councils apart from the procedures of trade to be followed in respect of the importer's country. Any recognized Chamber of Commerce too can provide the information in this respect.


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