How to Complete a Commercial Invoice

If the international shipment you’re sending is going to a destination outside of the EU and contains items of a commercial value you’ll need to provide a Commercial Invoice. The commercial invoice is a customs declaration document supplied by the shipper which allows your parcel to pass through borders between countries. The Commercial Invoice contains information about the shipment such as a description of the items, the value and information about the shipper. If you are sending a gift or personal belongings, a Pro forma Invoice, rather than a Commercial Invoice will be needed.

With completing the paperwork is simple. Our booking engine will collect all the information required and complete the shipping documents for you. It knows which countries require a Commercial Invoice or if a Proforma Invoice is needed and prepares the correct documents for your shipment. Invoices are supplied ready for printing alongside your labels at the end of the booking process.

It’s important that you complete the booking form accurately, as any mistakes will flow through to your Commercial Invoice and may lead to a delay and / or seizure of your parcel.

Parcel Collection Details- As the shipper, please provide your full name, address and phone number as these details may be used to contact you should any questions about your shipment arise.  

Parcel Delivery Details- Accurately enter the weight and dimensions of your parcel (please round up to the nearest ½ kg in weight), then complete the name, full address and contact details of the recipient. You must supply a contact phone number for the recipient as the carrier may need to contact them to check details of delivery time / location.

Parcel Delivery Options – This section does not impact the Commercial Invoice, but allows you to give any special instructions that may help the delivery driver to successfully deliver the parcel; you can also choose the appropriate level of liability cover and how you would like to be advised that your delivery is complete. The description of the goods requested here is a general description that summarises the parcel contents

Customs Declaration- You are required to provide a full description of each of the products included in your shipment. A good description will include what the item is, what it’s made of and what it will be used for. The more detailed and accurate the description the less likely it is to be held in customs. The description will help brokers determine how your shipment should be classified for import and duties calculations.

VAT status – You must supply your VAT status, or the VAT status of the company you are shipping on behalf of. If VAT registered you will also need to supply the VAT number in the box provided

Reason for Export – Select a reason from the list provided. Valid reasons for exporting goods are if the goods are a gift for the recipient, a purchase made by the recipient, the good are inter-company data, a return purchase, samples for the recipient and goods being repaired by the recipient.

Country of Origin - Please specify where the goods were manufactured, produced or grown. Please note, the EU won’t be accepted as place of manufacture. It must be country specific, e.g. Made in Spain. Please indicate the country of origin must be provided for each item in your international shipment.

Number of Units- Indicate the total number of each product you have in your shipment. E.g. 3 dresses, 2 shirts and 1 jumper.

Unit value - State the value of each item in your shipmentin pence, e.g. the value of each individual dress. The value must be greater than zero and only numerical values are to be entered.

Declaration – You must declare that you are not shipping any items that are prohibited by It is always advisable to check the import rules for individual countries before sending your items, HM Revenue & Customs has more information.

For more information, read our standard procedure for invoices for international deliveries.

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Please note if you do not select the “signature required” delivery option, UKMail will not be liable should your items be subsequently lost or damaged after the delivery (see clause 11.7 of the Terms & Conditions). *We define a “Parcel” as a package with dimensions up to 80cm x 80cm x 80cm and a weight of up to 25kg.

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