What is The Difference Between a Commercial Invoice, Consular Invoice And a Consular Statement

Exporting and Importing can often be an extremely complicated and mundane process as there are so many rules, regulations as well as countless  number of procedures to adhere to. This, many a times, may require to prepare and submit documents for import and export. Usually, freight forwarders would prepare it  for us, but it is also good to know for ourselves as to how to complete the relevant documents by understanding what the terms mean. As such, in our new article series titled “Export Terms”, we would  introduce you to all the various terms used in the international trade, be it through air, land or sea freight. We would roll out one related article on a regular basis, which would help you to get a comprehensive understanding as to the document preparation for the purpose of doing trade internationally.

What is a Commercial Invoice?

The commercial invoice is one of the main documents you need to have. Often enough, many freight forwarders would usually require this document even before they could generate a price quote. This is  because the commercial invoice contains the actual value of the cargo that is going to be imported or exported. The customs authority of  the destination of import would also need the commercial invoice as they would use the value to charge the duty or taxes accordingly.

In a commercial invoice, the names of the buyer and seller are identified, along with the dimensions as well as the weight of the goods. The date of the shipment as well as the relevant incoterm can also be found on the shipping document.

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What is a Consular Invoice?

A consular invoice involves a consul. A consul, in this context refers to a Government official from the importing country residing in the Exporter’s country. This is slightly different from a commercial invoice, but it still involves one. A consular invoice in essence, refers to a commercial invoice that is being scrutinised and verified with a signature by the consul. This is so as to prevent over or under pricing the invoice as well as to exercise a control over the goods that are being imported to the consul’s country.

What About a Consular Statement?

A consular statement is pretty much the opposite of a consular invoice. In this case, the exporter’s government need this document, as opposed to the importer’s consul in the previous document. A representative from the Exporter’s government in the importer’s country would require the document. This is so that it could be reviewed and certified. The consular statement describes the goods, its value in the exporter’s currency as well as other key details such as the names and details of the consignor and the consignee.

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