A commercial invoice is a formal request of reimbursement by the seller to the buyer. For your export shipments, it can serve several added functions:
- The destination country requires it before clearing the goods through customs.
- If there is an insurance claim on the shipment, it serves as a key supporting document.
- The buyer uses it to release funds through its bank to the seller.
- A bank examines it before reimbursing funds under a letter of credit or documentary collection.
- U.S. export regulations require that exporters retain it for five years from date of shipment.
- Exporters can use it to support foreign credit risk insurance claims.