So, what is shipment commercial value?

Glad you asked.  Shipment commercial value is the total commercial value of the goods contained within a single shipment. This is most often the invoiced amount to the end consignee (AKA the buyer, in most scenarios).

Commercial value is important on international shipments for the purposes of duties and taxes. The value of a shipment can also be important when considering insurance.

Every country demands that shipped items are accurately valued. The World Trade Organization has strict rules for valuation too.

How many countries accept a valuation of zero dollars? None.

You can declare as low as $1. Please note it on your invoice if an item is not going to be sold. The invoice should still show the value for customs purposes.

The invoice value that you declare forms the basis for all applicable duties, taxes or fees due when the goods arrive at the destination country.

Shipping out of the U.S.? Shipping commercial value is the deciding factor for whether you have to submit certain U.S. government filings (AES EEI) before your goods leave the United States.

Customs deals with the value of goods all day, every day. They are very good at what they do. So, if you don’t want to get flagged, report an accurate value in your invoice. Low values can result in import or export penalties.

All exports require commercial invoices. Sometimes these will be called pro forma invoices. It could be that you’re not selling an item, just shipping it. You’ll still need a commercial invoice unless your shipment is owned by you personally (e.g.shipping your personal car to another country).