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What do I do with commercial invoices and customs forms?
What do I do with commercial invoices and customs forms?

What to do with the extra pages that come with international labels

Updated over a week ago

USPS® and UPS® have different processes when it comes to customs forms, and what you need to do with them. Here's what to do with those extra pages that will print out with your international labels.

Multi-page Custom Forms for International USPS Shipments

Depending on the country you're shipping to, your international USPS label might include multiple pages of customs forms. In this case, you can place them in the USPS Customs Form Envelope that you then affix to your package.

If you don't have a USPS Customs Form Envelope, you can also place those extra customs form sheets in a regular envelope or a ziplock bag that you label with the phrase "Customs Forms," and affix that envelope to the outside of your package.

NOTE: If your customs forms come with a Sender's Copy, don't include it with your shipment! Keep that for your records 👍

Commercial Invoices for International UPS Shipments

International UPS labels don't come with customs forms, but Commercial Invoices that contain information about what you're sending, and the total value of the items inside your package.

These Commercial Invoices are often digitally embedded into the barcode of your label, but sometimes you'll need to print out physical documents and affix them to your package.

Most international UPS labels come with paperless Commercial Invoices

Most international UPS labels have paperless Commercial Invoice information embedded in their barcode, so you won't need to print any extra documents with your label.

If Commercial Invoice information is embedded in the barcode, you'll see this "EDI" designation toward the bottom of your label:

This "EDI" note signifies that your label is enrolled in the paperless invoice process.

On the other hand, if a paperless invoice can't be generated for your label, this section will display "INV" instead of "EDI."

Affix any physical Commercial Invoice documents to your package

You may notice that, sometimes, an international UPS label prints along with 3 copies of an invoice. Those invoices will all look almost exactly the same, but do not discard any of these! You need to affix all 3 to the outside of the package!

Once you've printed your international UPS label and those 3 invoices, affix your label on your box or envelope and place the commercial invoices in a clear ziplock bag that you label with the phrase “Commercial Invoices" on it. Lastly, affix that ziplock to the outside of your package, and you're all set!

Pro Tip: If you don't have a ziplock, Amazon also offers clear UPS pouches you can order and stick these Commercial Invoices inside of 😉

You can also use invoices or receipts from your store or eCommerce platform

For UPS shipments, you can supply your own invoices or receipts from your store, eCommerce platform, or marketplace! In order for UPS to consider them as proper commercial invoices, they just need to have the following info on them:

  • Your business name & address

  • The recipient’s name & address

  • The item/quantity/value/description/total

If they do, simply print 3 copies of them and attach them like we talked about above👌

Commercial Invoices must be 8.5x11"

One thing to note about commercial invoices for UPS shipments is that they have to be printed on 8.5x11" paper. That means you can't use a 4x6" label printer to print them 🙈 UPS actually considers that size too small for their commercial invoices, and might return your package because of it!

To print 8.5x11" commercial invoices, you'll need to use either a regular desktop printer, or another standard printer you can access outside of your home or office. Alternatively, you can still supply your own invoices from your store, eCommerce platform, or marketplace...and those can be 4x6".

If you don't have access to an 8.5x11" printer and can't supply your own invoices, chat with us and we'll do our best to steer you in the right direction!

Make sure your Commercial Invoices are the correct size

To ensure your commercial invoice fills out your whole 8.5x11" paper and is the correct size for UPS, there are a couple of quick steps you need to take. First, select your label size as 4x6" when you click the Print Label button, as seen below:

Then, before you print, make sure to select "Fit to paper" for the Scale. Here's how that looks:

Once you set that up, you're ready to go! Your commercial invoice will now fill up the entire 8.5x11" page when you print it 💪

For more information on shipping with UPS on Pirate Ship, check out our guide: Everything you need to know about UPS.

Have any other questions? Chat with our Support Crew 😃

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