What is a Commercial Invoice and Why Does it Need to be Accurate?

Why You Need to Accurately Complete Your Commercial Invoices

customer filling lut commercial invoice


In everything from our UK services to our specialist Business Parcel solutions, we know that to ensure a quick and efficient delivery an accurately completed commercial invoice is key.

With this in mind, we’ve put together this post which details what’s involved with these important documents. We also explain exactly why they need to be accurate and have provided some additional guidance explaining how to correctly complete them.


Commercial Invoices Explained: What is a Commercial Invoice?

A commercial invoice is a document containing important information about the goods you intend to ship; they’re also used to create a customs declaration.


Do I Always Need a Commercial Invoice?

To send goods to the EU, you typically don’t have to include a commercial invoice. There are some exceptions though, including special territories like San Marino and Gibraltar, so it’s worth checking this before you arrange a delivery.

All non-EU deliveries will need a commercial invoice completing.


Why an Accurate Commercial Invoice is Required

As previously mentioned, the main commercial invoice requirement is that you complete it accurately, before you get your goods shipped. There are a few reasons for this:

  • It prevents any hold ups with your shipments (as incorrect information could lead to delays)
  • It ensures your goods are correctly classified and the right taxes and duties are paid
  • There are legal requirements to complete these correctly


Guidance on Completing your Commercial Invoice Accurately

Below we’ve detailed everything you need to know, what to include and why, to help you avoid any potential issues and get these filled out accurately – ensuring your deliveries get to their destinations in the timescales agreed.

A completed commercial invoice needs to have the following information:

Your Address

To show who is sending the goods.

The Receiver’s Address

To show where the consignments are going.

The Tariff Code and a Description of the Goods

The Tariff Code is a number used to identify and classify your goods – these can be found here on this UK Government page. This and your detailed description are there to make sure the right amount of tax and duty is paid on your goods.

The Reason for Export

This explains why you’re sending the items.

The Value of the Goods and the Relevant Currency

This information will simply show how much the goods are worth and this value should also be in the destination currency.

The Delivery Terms

This will state who is paying for the shipment and any taxes on your items.

Your VAT and EORI Numbers

Your company should have a VAT number and an EORI number that need to be included. These important numbers can be found at your local HMRC office and are used to identify you to customs as an international trader.

Your Signature

The document needs to be signed by you to confirm the information is accurate and true.

Additional Advice

We have template commercial invoices available for you to download online, or you can of course make your own. This page also offers additional guidance about completing your commercial invoices, plus we even have an instructional YouTube video if you need further assistance.

So, take our advice and help to ensure that you meet these commercial invoice requirements and get yours completed accurately. This way you’ll be on the right path to quick and secure deliveries with your SME.



These pages contain general information only.

TNT makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about any of the content of this website (including, without limitation, any as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content); or any content of any other website referred to or accessed by hypertext link through this web site (“third party site”).

TNT does not endorse or approve the content of any third party site, nor will TNT have any liability in connection with any of them.

This entry was posted in Business TNT and tagged Bookmark the permalink.