You know the nightmare scenario - it's 7:00 PM on a Saturday, your truck is parked, the paperwork...
Customs Invoice Form: Templates and Requirements
If you are shipping goods internationally, chances are you are going to need to familiarize yourself with a few key documents, and one of them is a Customs Invoice. The document is used for shipping as a way to speed up the transportation process and get shipments delivered to their destination. The invoice essentially serves as a bill of sale in the import and export process. In order to simplify the shipping process, familiarizing yourself with the invoice will save you time and money.
What is a Customs Invoice?
A customs invoice is a document used by exporters and importers to declare contents or value of goods, in order to clear them through customs. In order to determine if a shipment can enter the country, customs officials refer to this document as part of the process.
The invoice contains essential information about the goods being shipped, such as their value, which helps border services determine the taxes or fees which may apply to the shipment. The carrier will present the invoice document to customs officials, before they can be cleared to cross.
Do I need a customs invoice?
If you are exporting or importing across the US or Canada border, you will need a customs invoice.
It is important to look into where you are shipping in order to know the rules of each country, as each country may have specific rules for the form. For Canada, a customs invoice (CCI) is required, and it has to fit the specific CBSA approved template for this country. Border crossing into the US also requires a customs invoice, in the format approved by CBP.
Each shipment requires its own unique invoice. This document also reveals more about the company, including whether they follow regulations and rules while importing. Taxes for the receiving entity can be determined through this document as well. As a result, the shipping time is sped up and cross border trade can proceed.
You will need multiple copies of the invoice, with one attached to your Bill of Lading and one attached to the shipment.
Is a Commercial Invoice and Customs Invoice the same?
These two are interchangeable. A customs invoice is a commercial invoice with all the required information needed to be processed through customs. The instance in which you may need both is if the commercial invoice does not contain the information needed for customs release.
Common carriers such as UPS, Fedex and DHL also use these invoices in their international shipping process, in order to expedite transport.
How do I fill out a customs invoice? Where can I get a customs invoice?
We’ve made filling out the form pretty simple, using our Customs Invoice form generator. One specifically for Canada and one for the US invoices. You can just enter the required data and automatically generate a CBP or CBSA approved invoice, for free.
Our form generator allows you to also create a BOL (Bill of Lading) if you need one, as well as sending updates to your carrier or broker (optional). The form generator follows the required CBP and CBSA approved templates. While you can still download the customs invoice form on the CBP and CBSA websites, you can now benefit from using the technology to simplify your shipping process. A few minutes to generate the form, and you are good to go!