Commercial Invoice Requirements

This is a reminder to the trade that the commercial invoice should contain enough information for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and all other government agencies to determine if the goods being imported are admissible and for the purpose of determining the proper classification and valuation of goods. It is an essential part of the importation and entry process.

Flegenheimer International would like to emphasize the need to include the scientific names (genus and species) for seafood and produce (also required for wood products) in order to determine if there are additional requirements. For NOAA, International Fisheries Trade Permit (IFTP) is required to import 13 priority species under Seafood Import Monitoring Program (SIMP). They have listed certain species that would require data information that customs brokers must provide to CBP and NOAA electronically, in addition to the record keeping requirements that the importers must comply.

Please read:


An invoice should:

1. Be in English

2. Describe the item clearly
a. Product name (scientific name if applicable)
b. Material
c. Functionality
d. Intended use

3. List the quantity
a. Total number of pcs and carton count
b. Weight in kg

4. State the value (either price paid, or estimated value based on other considerations.) Give both the value in foreign currency and U.S. dollars (U.S. Dollars preferrably)

5. Proper Incoterms

6. Country of Origin (where the item was made)

7. Where it was purchased

8. List the Name of the business or person selling the merchandise

9. List the Location of the business or person selling the merchandise

10. List the Name and address of business or person buying the merchandise, and if different from the importer

11. List the U.S. address of the person or business the goods are being shipped to

12. For food items:
a. Full name and address of the manufacturer/packer/grower
b. FDA registration#
c. Packaging material (wood, paper, plastic, glass, etc..)

Having a commercial invoice with all the proper information will speed up the release of your shipments. If all required information is not on the commercial invoice, we will have to ask questions.

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