Customs Documentation

Commercial Invoice

A commercial invoice must contain the following information:

  • Full name and postal address of the seller and the buyer with contact details
  • Number and date of issue of commercial invoice and the number of the order for the goods
  • Marks, numbers, number, kind and gross weight of packages
  • Trade description of goods in plain language and in sufficient detail
  • Quantity of the goods expressed in units normal in trade and their gross and net weight
  • Price of goods (article specific unit price and total price of the consignment) and currency
  • Discounts and grounds therefore; additional charges (i.e. insurance), if any – the discounts and additional charges should be indicated in the invoice only if they are mentioned and are fixed in the contract, otherwise, it will be difficult to confirm the prices indicated in the invoice
  • Terms (Incoterms 2020) time and mode of delivery as well as terms, time and mode of payment
  • Country of origin of the goods (manufacturer name is not obligatory, but helpful)
  • Transport route and means of transport used
  • Reference to sales contract number and date
  • One original signed copy of the invoice is required, as well as a total of five copies.

View a sample Invoice:                                                                                                                 

Customs Documentation
Customs Documentation

Packing list

A packing list is the only way in which a consignment can be cleared for entry into a new market and most importantly the only way in which the border crossing or customs officer can tell what is supposed to be in each carton being delivered overseas.

There are many reasons why this is important.

  • Security – if people were allowed to simply send whatever they wanted wherever they liked, without any checks on what was being sent, there would plenty of scope for dangerous objects to be transported via the vessels of trade. Things like packing lists and border controls are vital to preserving national security in all nations. They are also important for keeping on top of dual use objects – objects which could have both military and commercial purposes.
  • Without checks to ensure the accountability of traders, fraud would be rife across the world. Without things like packing lists, there would be no one regulating the movement of goods.
  • Collecting taxes and import duties would be very difficult which would lead to failing economies and disaster for all countries, rich and poor – trade makes the world go around!
  • Packing lists allows the international community to stay on top of environmental issues including endangered species or potential biohazards.
  • Also keeping track of the weights and measurements of packages being carried allow for lorries, ships or aircraft to not become overloaded. If it wasn’t for packing lists, shipping could be very dangerous for everyone involved in delivery.
Customs Documentation

Bill of Lading

A Bill ofLading is a detailed list of a ship’s cargo in the form of a receipt given by the master of the ship to the person consigning the goods

Air Waybill

  • An air waybill or air consignment note is a receipt issued by an international airline for goods and an evidence of the contract of carriage – but it is not a document of title to the goods.


  • A transport document that gives information about the cargo that is being transported. CMR only applies to road transport in European countries as well as additional countries in Asia and Africa. CMR sets out terms and conditions for road haulage.

Certificate of Origin

  • Preferential origin confers certain benefits on goods traded between
    particular countries.
  • One aim of a Free Trade agreement (FTA) is to give preferential access for goods between the parties in the agreement. This is done by significantly reducing, often to zero, the duty rate on goods originating in partner countries.
Customs Documentation
Contact Information

Registered number 11932140

VAT 320898980