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Commercial Invoice and Packing List: What You Need to Know

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The commercial invoice and packing list are important documents for customs declaration. Find out what is required in each document.

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Flexport will need a digital copy of your shipment’s Commercial Invoice and Packing List to clear your shipment through U.S. Customs.

What is a Commercial Invoice?

A commercial invoice is a document used for customs declaration that identifies the value and quantity of the shipped products.

What must be included in a Commercial Invoice?

  • Country of origin / manufacture (where the products were made)
  • Full name and address of the supplier / manufacturer
  • Full name and address of the business or person buying the products (noting if this person or business is different from the importer)
  • Full name and address of the **person or business to whom the goods are being shipped **
  • Quantity of units for each product
  • Unit value for each product (both in US dollars and the supplier's currency)Note: A declared value for every product imported is required, so a $0 value is not acceptable for Customs purposes. We suggest the fair market value of the product be declared, even if you are receiving the goods free of charge.
  • A complete description of the product that includes: what the product is, what the product is used for, and what the product is made of

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Note: A SKU is not a product description.

What is a Packing List?

A packing list is a document used for customs declaration that identifies the quantity, weight, dimensions, and carton count of the shipped products.

The information listed on the Commercial Invoice must match the corresponding fields on the Packing List (e.g., the quantity of units for each product should be the same on both the Commercial Invoice and the Packing List).

More Commercial Invoice Resources

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