Definition of consular invoice

What is a consular invoice?

A consular invoice is a document that certifies a shipment of goods and shows information such as the sender, the recipient, and the value of the shipment. Generally, a consular invoice can be obtained through a consular representative of the destination country and must be certified by the consul of the destination country, who will stamp and authorize the invoice.

Understanding the consular invoice

Some countries require the consular invoice to facilitate customs and tax collection. The process of submitting and authorizing a consular invoice is called consularization, and it can help speed up the process of importing goods to a new country. The countries of Latin America, Iraq, Australia and Nigeria are some of the countries that require such an invoice.

Key takeaways

  • A consular invoice is a document that specifies the content and details of a shipment certified by the consul of the country to which the merchandise is sent.
  • Countries that require a consular invoice include countries in Latin America, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mauritius, New Zealand, Myanmar, Iraq, Australia, Fiji, Cyprus, Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea, and Zanzibar.
  • Customs officials use the invoice to confirm the contents of the shipment, the quantity of goods, and the cost to determine the import duty.
  • The export price is analyzed in relation to the market price in the country of origin to ensure that an unfair commercial practice called “dumping” is not taking place.
  • With dumping, an exporter sells goods in a foreign market for less than they cost at home to gain a competitive advantage over other suppliers.

To complete the consularization process, the company or person wishing to export the goods must present the documentation and pay the associated processing fees. Once the procedures have been processed, the exporter is given a copy of the invoice and the second copy is presented at the customs office. A consular invoice contains information about the product, its destination, and the declared value of the product. You can expect the invoice to list the following:

  • Date
  • Exporter
  • port of destination
  • loading port
  • Merchandise description
  • Conveyor
  • Amount of charges
  • Shipping value
  • Marks and numbers
  • Certifier name

Special Considerations

A consular invoice also includes a copy of the commercial invoice in the language of the country, giving full details of the merchandise shipped. In general, the purpose is to provide the foreign customs authority with a complete and detailed description of the goods so that the correct import duty can be collected. In addition, the export price of the goods can be assessed against the current market price in the exporter’s country to avoid export dumping.

Dumping is when a product is sold in a foreign market for a price lower than the cost in the domestic market to maintain an advantage over other suppliers of the product. It is considered an unfair business practice and is regulated by national governments. In the case of consular invoicing, the invoice can be used to calculate the price differences between imported products and the price of the product to the exporting country to avoid the unfair commercial practice of dumping.

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Mark Holland

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