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International Shipping: What's a Commercial Invoice? Why Do I Need One?
By Peter Parcell on October 18, 2014

customs-documentationThere are more documents required when shipping goods internationally than with domestic shipping, and they can be easily overlooked or forgotten if you aren’t careful... It’s happened to me once or twice. One thing that you should never overlook and will absolutely need, is a commercial invoice.

What is a Commercial Invoice?

A commercial invoice is the primary document needed for international shipping between exporters and importers. It is the document used by customs to determine duties, value, and control importing.

What information do I include on a Commercial Invoice?

There is no standard format for commercial invoices, but there specific pieces of information that must be included:

  • Parties involved in the shipping transaction
  • Goods being transported
  • Country of manufacture
  • Harmonized System (HS) codes*
  • Statement certifying that the invoice is true
  • Signature.

*(Note: Check out our post on HS Codes if you aren’t sure what they are.)

We at ShipTIme know that filling out documents for international trade can be intimidating, time-consuming and sometimes confusing, so we came up with a solution that will take some of the pain out of the process — the ShipTime app!

The ShipTIme app has a built-in feature that will generate all of your necessary forms and documents for you digitally. It’s as simple as filling out the forms on your computer, printing them out, and attaching them to your package. You won’t have to go hunting for the right forms and documents, or even a pen that works, the ShipTIme app is a one stop shop.

Find out how easy it is to generate shipping labels and international documents at, and save a pile of money in the process!

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