Why Is Your Commercial Invoice So Important


Hi everyone it’s Victoria at Bolst Global and I hope you are doing really well.

So I’m back with another FAQ and this topic, I wanted to really hone in on the commercial invoice as a really important document for your international trade. And when you are supplying goods overseas, let’s not forget the commercial invoice is really the guiding star as far as I’m concerned with your whole host of export documents that you may be asked to provide for your customers overseas. So it’s really important to get it right as far as you possibly can, and make sure you put as much detail into that document as you possibly can as well.

So basically the way that this differs from a domestic invoice that you may issue for your usual customers in your home market, there are a number of ways in which this will be different and to take note, so, what are they?

Well first and foremost, they must include on your invoice your commodity codes for the specific products that you are selling overseas.  These are specific codes for your specific products and these are so important because they will determine the level of duties and tariffs that are applicable for your goods upon importation in the country of destination. It’s really important to make sure you get those right and that obviously they are included on the invoice, something which is very different from a UK or another domestic invoice that you may be supplying around the world.

Another area is obviously when we talk about international trade Incoterms, this is basically a trading term that determines the level of risk and responsibility that passes between the buyer and the seller and at what point that switches over. So you need to make sure that again on your invoice you’re stating your Incoterms. We have another separate FAQ  on INCO terms more specifically, for you to have a look at.

Another aspect particularly for British providers – upon leaving now the EU – is the EORI number which is your economic operator registration and identification number. An absolute mouthful hence why we call it an EORI number. That needs to be included also on your commercial invoice.

The other thing that now applies if you are supplying into the EU is rules of origin,  which I know is quite a complex area, but if
you are looking at providing zero duties and tariffs on your goods on a business to business transaction, it’s very important that you add in  your EORI number plus obviously the preferential statement on your invoice as well, so, amongst other things they are certainly the top things to bear in mind and this is why from my perspective, as far as I’m concerned, the commercial invoice is king and getting it right and putting as much detail in is crucial to your success and to hopefully stopping any issues upon importation of your goods overseas.

We do have at Bolst Global a brand new digital product available, which is not only a short tutorial of about 20 minutes explaining the commercial invoice templates that we offer, which are downloadable as part of the tutorial, and in-depth detail line by line as to what
to include on your commercial invoice and why it’s important, and explaining in a bit more detail areas around commodity codes, Incoterms, preferential statements etc as well.So do take a look at that if you’re interested and

I hope this FAO has been useful.
Thanks for listening!

Victoria Boldison

Victoria Boldison

CEO & Founder

Victoria is a multi-award winning Chartered Marketer and has worked internationally for all of her career within start up, SME and large corporation environments marketing and selling food, drinks, supplements and medical devices around the world.

Multilingual with an MA Hons from the University of Oxford (French, Spanish and Portuguese) and an executive MBA from Leeds Business School, Victoria now runs Bolst Global, an international business consultancy and export solutions provider, supporting those businesses operating in global food, drink and supplement sectors.

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