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Consular Invoice Explained

Updated on :  

08 min read.

Import and export transactions often require different documents for varied purposes such as verification, calculation of duties, etc. A consular invoice is one of the essential documents in these transactions.

Meaning of a consular invoice and its uses

A consular invoice is a document containing details regarding the shipment of goods certified by the consulate of the importing country. The destination country’s consulate affixes their stamp, thus authorising the shipment for clearance with the customs officials.

A consular invoice is an important document for the following reasons-

  • Helps the customs officials in the calculation of import duty.
  • Ensures the prevention of dumping.
  • Enables the customs officials to identify the contents of the shipment
  • Helps in the quick clearance from customs in both countries

Format and contents of a consular invoice

A consular invoice may contain the following details –

  • Names of the importer and exporter with their relevant details
  • Ports of Origin and destination
  • Description of the goods
  • Additional charges (packing, insurance, etc.)
  • Total value of the shipment
  • Name of the certifier
  • Identification marks and numbers
consular invoice

Difference between commercial invoice and consular invoice

BasisCommerical InvoiceConsular Invoice
MeaningIt is an export document that proves that a sale transaction has been entered into.A document containing the signature of the Consulate of the importing country stating that those goods have been imported.
PurposeProvide information regarding the goods sold and the value of the sale.Used for clearance purposes, especially with the customs department.
CopiesThere is no limit on the number of copies that can be prepared. It is based on need.Consular invoices are usually prepared in triplicate: Consulate’s office, customs, and exporter.
FeeNo fee is involved for document preparation.The Consulate charges a nominal fee.
ContentsDetails regarding the goods and the terms and conditions associated with the sale.Details regarding the goods and their value and the fact that they have been imported from another country.
StatusHelps in preparing other export documents since it contains the details of the sale.When a duty is being imposed on the value of the goods, a consular invoice is needed.

Difference between customs invoice and consular invoice

Customs InvoiceConsular Invoice
A document that enables the import and export of goods.A document certified by the Consulate of the destination country for shipment of goods.
Helps determine if the contents of the shipment are allowed to enter the destination country.Helps in calculating customs duty and contains details such as the quantity, rate and value of the shipment.
All countries require a customs invoice.Not all countries require a consular invoice.
Certain countries such as Nigeria, Latin America, Tanzania, New Zealand, etc.