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COMMERCIAL INVOICE IN OCEAN FREIGHT

Regardless of country of origin and ocean freight carrier used for your international sea freight shipment, you always will be asked to provide some sort of Commercial Invoice (essential shipping document) before your goods be accepted to the international shipment.

Commercial Invoices in ocean freight, besides other points, are used by origin and destination Customs in purpose to control legality of commodity and assign duty, taxes etc (if any) on international ocean freight shipments at the origin and destination.

It may be an original commercial invoice obtained from your merchant or proforma commercial invoice in which international shippers describe commodity and assign value of goods to be shipped by themselves.

In certain cases, particularly when shipping personal items or household goods from the USA in ocean freight shipments, a Valued Packing List may be sufficient as well, because its form actually reflects information provided in ocean freight proforma commercial invoices. However, when your ocean freight will reach the destination, Customs in certain countries may request to transfer a valued packing list initially submitted at origin into a form of commercial invoice anyway. 

Very important to understand that in ocean freight a commercial invoice submitted at origin in a form sufficient to the origin Customs may not always be sufficient for the Customs at the destination. But do not worry about that. Upon the destination Customs request to provide shipping documents in a proper form, having a copy of your originally submitted commercial invoice, you or your Customs Broker will always have a chance to transform the shipping document into the format required by the destination Customs. 

Our suggestions on filing Commercial Invoices to the ocean freight:

  1. If it is an international commercial ocean freigh shipment, then request an invoice from the seller in a form acceptable for shipping your goods overseas. Then submit a copy of this original invoice to your international ocean freight shipment. 
  2. If it is not possible to obtain an invoice in a form of commercial invoice acceptable to the international ocean freight shipment by Customs at origin, then ask your freight forwarder or ocean freight carrier's agent for a standard form of the document used by Customs in your country. 
  3. If it is a personal international ocean freight shipment, always file your Valued Packing List or Proforma Commercial Invoice in the standard form acceptable by Customs in your country.    

General requirements on format of Commercial Invoices for shipping international ocean freight to the USA

Commercial Invoices must be in English and provide the following information (See the Section 141.86 of U.S. customs regulations for more detailed requirements):

  • The port of entry to which the goods are designated;
  • Shippers (sellers) and Buyers full name, address and contact information;
  • Detailed description of goods being imported;
  • The quantities in weight and measures;
  • Value of each item in USD based on exchange rate on the date of export;
  • The country of origin of the goods; and
  • All goods or services furnished for the production of goods being imported not included in the invoice price (if any)

Our online form for filling out a Proforma Commercial Invoice for shipping international ocean freight from the USA

Commercial international shippers: Request your invoice from the seller in a form acceptable to an international ocean freight shipmen by U.S. Customs (for the export). Then fax or e-mail a copy of this original invoice as a part of your shipping document to us.

Otherwise, our clients are able to fill out and submit a Proforma Commercial Invoice online via link in our shipping instructions using a standard form acceptable by U.S. Customs. We will e-mail to you this link in our shipping instuctions upon your booking request online in our website.

You may try fully working version of form of the ocean freight shipping document from this link

Notice: Each shipping document for your international ocean freight submitted via our shipping instructions is unique. It is generated individually for your international ocean freight shipment and pre-formatted based on the information that you had provided when booked your international ocean freight shipment online. 

IMPORTANT: While submitting your shipping documents online double-check all info in the document. If you see any errors or typos, then urgently re-submit the document or ask us to correct it via e-mail.

During submitting your shipping documents for your international ocean freight shipment online you will have several opportunities to edit and re-submit the shipping documents. However, as soon as shipping documents are submitted to the ocean freight carrier, all further correction be possible only at a time when you recover your international shipment at the destination.


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