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FedEx Commercial Invoice

May 6, 2022 Chase Flashman

fedex commercial invoice

The FedEx international commercial invoice is the primary international shipping document used by most foreign customs organizations. All of the information included on this document informs the rest of your shipping documentation and directs the entire international shipping process. Additionally, international buyers require a commercial invoice to complete payment processes and establish ownership.

Since any international FedEx shipment requires a commercial invoice, it is critical that all information entered is completely accurate and invariable. Including incorrect or vague descriptions on your commercial invoice could result in:

To help you get this process right, we’ve put together this blog to answer common questions surrounding the commercial invoicing process:

  • What is a FedEx commercial invoice and when do I need one?
  • How do I get a commercial invoice form?
  • How do I fill out a commercial invoice?
  • What do I do with a commercial invoice once it’s completed?

What Is a FedEx Commercial Invoice Form?

The commercial invoice form primarily functions as a way for customs to process your shipment successfully. Typically, the shipment exporter for your organization is responsible for obtaining and completing the commercial invoice form.

When Do You Need a Commercial Invoice?

A commercial invoice is required any time you are shipping commodities internationally. In basic terms, any item that has a commercial value and is not a document requires a commercial invoice in order to be shipped outside of the US.

How Do You Create Proper Shipping Descriptions?

It’s critical that you make your descriptions of each item extremely accurate and detailed since the information provided on the commercial invoice is used on other shipping documents, like the shipping label. Additionally, if you are shipping multiple commodities, separate descriptions are needed for each item. Here are some examples of good and bad descriptions according to FedEx:

fedex-shipping-descriptionsSource: FedEx

How Do You Fill Out a Commercial Invoice for FedEx?

First, to access your commercial invoice, you can easily download all FedEx forms online.

With that said, commercial invoices include the following pieces of information:

  • Exporter Contact Information:
    • This includes the company name and address and the country where each item was manufactured.
  • FedEx International Air Waybill/Tracking Number:
    • The Air Waybill number (aka the shipping tracking number) is the main reference number on the invoicing document. 
  • Export References:
    • This is where you include your order number or invoice number.
  • Consignee Contact Information:
    • In this section you enter the name and address of the organization or person who is meant to receive the shipment.
  • Importer Contact Information (Optional):
    • If the shipment is going to be received or handled by an additional party besides the consignee, then you would include their contact information in this section.
  • Goods Description:
    • Each item should be thoroughly described. Here is an example of what information you need to include in this section of your commercial invoice:

fedex goods description

Source: FedEx

  • Signature and Date:
    • You must sign and date the original commercial invoice document as well as any copies.

Where Do You Submit Your Commercial Invoice?

After filling out your form, you can submit your commercial invoice to FedEx through two different avenues:

  1. You can complete your commercial invoice manually and print it out with your shipping label.
  2. You can completely fill out your commercial invoice and create your shipping labels through FedEx Ship Manager®. You can also upload a manually completed commercial invoice to the FedEx Ship Manager platform.

ShipSigma: Rethinking FedEx Shipping Costs

Having a comprehensive understanding of FedEx international shipping documents helps prevent delays, fees, and even tax issues. But what if you want to take a deeper dive into your shipping costs? That’s where a parcel invoice audit comes into play. Our AI-powered technology automatically identifies all invalid charges, providing you with the data you need to negotiate a better deal with your shipping partner. Discover what you can save with ShipSigma today.


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