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Export Documents FAQ

What kind of invoice should I provide for my international shipment?

All shipments containing non-documents require a commercial invoice.

Three copies of the commercial invoice or pro forma invoice (if a commercial invoice is not available) are required for all your non-document shipments. Business or personal stationery may be used for these invoices if it contains all the required shipment information that is on your invoice.

Note: UPS Connect generates export documentation automatically.

The Commercial Invoice should include:

  • Name and address of shipper (seller) as shown on the address label, including a contact person and telephone number
  • Name and address of consignee (ship to), including destination country and postcode, as shown on the address label. To help ensure prompt delivery, a contact person and telephone number must be included.
  • Invoice date
  • Purchase order or invoice number, if applicable
  • Name and address of purchaser (importer) if different from the consignee, including a contact name and telephone number
  • Complete description of each item being shipped
  • Information about what the item is made of and what it is used for (include Customs Harmonised Codes, if known)
  • Country of origin. Where was the item manufactured?
  • Number of units, unit value and total value of each item. For samples and articles with no commercial value, a nominal or fair-market value must be stated for Customs purposes
  • Transportation and Declared Value or insurance charges
  • Total value of the shipment, including currency of settlement
  • Reason for export. For example: sale, repair, inter-company
  • Terms of Sale (Incoterm) that define the charges included in the total value on the invoice. For example: CIF is cost, insurance and freight
  • Number of packages and total weight of packages
  • Shipper's signature and date

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The NAFTA Certificate of Origin is used by Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the United States to determine whether imported goods receive reduced or eliminated duty as specified by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

For forms completed online, this application is designed for goods whose origin is the U.S. or Puerto Rico only. The NAFTA Certificate of Origin is also available as a paperless document, which can be transmitted electronically as part of your Paperless Invoice package (where available). When shipping from the U.S. or Canada, prepare one original and two copies of the invoice. When shipping from Puerto Rico, prepare one original and one copy.

The NAFTA Certificate of Origin must be attached to an invoice if the shipment is valued at greater than:

  • US$1,000 and is being sent to a Mexican destination from Canada or the U.S.
  • $2,500CAD (Canadian dollars) and is being sent to a Canadian destination from Mexico or the U.S.
  • US$2,500 and is being sent to a U.S. destination from Canada or Mexico.


Shipments valued at less than the above amounts do not require a NAFTA Certificate of Origin. Instead, the customer should type the following statement on the shipment's invoice:

"I hereby certify that the good covered by this shipment qualifies as an originating good for purposes of preferential tariff treatment under the NAFTA."

For purposes of obtaining preferential tariff treatment, this document must be completed legibly (print or type) and in full by the exporter, and be in the possession of the importer at the time the declaration is made. This document may also be completed voluntarily by the producer for use by the exporter.

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Where can I access forms for my international shipments?

UPS TradeAbilityTM offers a variety of forms for your international shipments. You can complete some forms online or browse the library of downloadable documents. Supply shipment information once and apply it to multiple forms as needed. The following forms can be completed online:

  • Invoice
  • NAFTA Certificate of Origin


To access international forms, go to the CampusShip Resources tab and select Use International Tools. From this page, select Access International Forms. This link takes you to a page where you can download sample forms or complete forms online.

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When do I need a U.S. FDA Food Imports Prior Notice Form?

New U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations require more information in order for food imports to clear the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and the FDA.

Based on your shipment's Ship From and Ship To addresses, the shipping application may display a link to this form near the bottom of the Complete a Shipment page. Select the link to complete the Complete Prior Notice Form online.

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