The commercial invoice is a record or evidence of the transaction between the exporter and the importer. Once the goods are available, the exporter issues a commercial invoice to the importer in order to charge him for the goods.
The commercial invoice contains the basic information on the transaction and is always required for customs clearance.
Although some entries specific to the export-import trade are added, it is similar to an ordinary sales invoice. The minimum data generally included are the following:
- Information on the exporter and the importer (name and address)
- Date of issue
- Invoice number
- Description of the goods (name, quality, etc.)
- Unit of measure
- Quantity of goods
- Unit value
- Total item value
- Total invoice value and currency of payment. The equivalent amount must be indicated in a currency freely convertible to Euro or other legal tender in the importing EU country
- The terms of payment (method and date of payment, discounts, etc.)
- The terms of delivery according to the appropriate Incoterm
- Means of transport
No specific form is required. The commercial invoice is to be prepared by the exporter according to standard business practice and it must be submitted in the original along with at least one copy. In general, there is no need for the invoice to be signed. In practice, both the original and the copy of the commercial invoice are often signed. The commercial invoice may be prepared in any language. However, a translation into English is recommended.
Customs value declaration
A Customs Value Declaration must be presented to the customs authorities where the value of the imported goods exceeds €10 000. The Customs Value Declaration must be drawn up conforming to form DV 1 This form must be presented with the Single Administrative Document (SAD).
The main purpose of this requirement is to assess the value of the transaction in order to fix the customs value (taxable value) to apply the tariff duties.
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