What is a Customs Invoice?
A customs invoice is a document that allows importers and exporters to send goods internationally. Goods carried across borders must go through customs in the country where the goods are being delivered to see if any tax or duties apply to them. This invoice answers the most common questions for customs agencies, allowing your shipment to reach its destination faster.
When Are Customs Invoices Used?
Filling out the customs invoice correctly ensures that the delivery of your goods isn’t delayed. This document also helps customs officials decide whether the goods being transported abide by the legal importing procedures.
Moreover, if you are exporting goods outside of the EU using a postal service such as Royal Mail, you will need to add a CN22 or CN23 form in addition to the customs invoice. If you decide to use a service such as DHL, you will not need to use the CN22 or CN23 form– however, you will still need to fill out a customs invoice.
What Details Are Required in a Customs Invoice?
A customs invoice usually includes information such as the nature of goods, collection and delivery address, succinct description of goods, tax information for the seller and buyer, their weight and value, and any applicable duty or taxes. Moreover, an important point to note is that different countries might have different customs invoice forms that need to be filled out, so some prior research needs to be done before filling out different customs invoices for the countries goods being exported to.
Customs Invoice vs. Commercial Invoice
While customs and commercial invoices are two different documents, they are both used to clear customs for international shipping. A customs invoice is an approximate bill of sale. They are used for high value orders and act as a finalizing document. Commercial invoices, on the other hand, are used by smaller merchants that sell to customers because the seller has already received the payment. Shippo allows you to generate commercial invoices straight from its Web app.