What are the common errors in Invoicing that must be avoided ?

The exporters should prepare the invoice very carefully as any error in the invoice may prove to be very costly for the importer and may in turn affect the exporter. It is important that the invoice should set forth truthfully the details as regards description of goods, price, value or the discounts, charges and commissions if any. It is essential that the invoice should reflect the real nature of the transaction, the pursuant to which the goods were shipped to the US market.

The fundamental rule is that the exporter and importer must furnish to the customs officer all the pertinent information with respect to each import transaction to assist the customs officers in determining the tariffs status of the goods. The following omissions and inaccuracies, generally noted, should be avoided;

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1) The exporter assumes that a commission, royalty or other charge against the goods is so-called “non-dutiable” item and omits it from the invoice.


2) The exporter manufactures goods partly with the use of materials supplies by the US importer, but invoices the goods at the actual cost of manufacture without including the value of the materials supplied by the importer.

3) The exporter ships replacement goods to his customer in the United States and invoices the goods at the net price without showing the full price less the allowance for defective goods preciously shipped and returned.

4) The exporter sells goods at a delivered price but invoices them at FOB price the place of shipment and omits the subsequent charges.

5) The exporter who sells goods at list price, less discount, invoices them at the net price, and fails to show the discount.


6) Invoice description is vague, listing only part numbers, truncated or coded description, or lumping various items together as one when several distinct items are included.

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