Commercial Invoice Requirements Refresher

Below is a memo that we have sent a couple of times since early 2020. We wanted to send it again as a refresher of the requirements on a Commercial Invoice. It is very important these items are included otherwise it can hold up customs clearance.

Elenteny Imports as the Importer of Record

Elenteny Imports must be listed as the Importer of Record in this format:
Elenteny Imports
285 West Broadway Suite 500
New York, NY 10013

Do not name Elenteny Imports as the “Bill To” Party

Please inform your suppliers that due to legal requirements, Elenteny Imports may not be named as the “Bill To” party on an Invoice.

If we are named as the “Bill To” party on an invoice, or if the Importer of Record language is missing, the Commercial Invoice will be returned to you for correction and may delay clearance of your order or the entire container.

Starting July 1st, if the Commercial Invoice your supplier submits does not follow the guidelines above, there will be a $25 fee plus any fees resulting if we can not clear a container on time.

Valid FDA Registration Number & Manufacturer’s Address

All invoices must contain a valid FDA number & manufacturer address. It is vitally important to validate the FDA# prior to shipping to avoid any delays or demurrage charges on arrival. If Elenteny Imports incurs any charges due to an invalid FDA number, those fees will be passed on to the customer.
If the commercial invoice lists products from various manufacturers, please add the FDA registration number and full address for each manufacturer. Every shipper is responsible for providing valid and current FDA information.

Elenteny Imports is unable to validate the FDA # until the customs entry has been filed. However, the company (US agent or supplier) that set up the FDA number can confirm if it is active by reaching out to their Help Desk at 1-800-216-7331.

Item Information

For each item being shipped, the commercial invoice must include:

  • Quantity in case/cartons (invoices with only bottle quantities will not be accepted)
  • Pack Size and bottle volume (e.g. 12/750ml, 24/375ml, 6/1500ml, bag-in-a-box, 20L keg etc.)
  • Commercial Value
  • ABV
  • Wine Type – here are the most common types.
  • 7-14% – Table red, table white
  • 14.1-16% – High Alc
  • 16.1%-21% dessert/port
  • Sparkling
  • Country of origin (especially important if not buying directly from the winery)

112cs  Elenteny Pinot Grigio 12/750ml, 12% alc, Italian table white,      €48.00       €5376.00

Samples & POS Items

CBP will not accept any items listed at $0 value. All items must be declared with a value, including samples. If additional POS items are added to a shipment, every item must be listed on the commercial invoice specifying the material (plastic, paper, aluminum, etc.).  It must include the full name and address of the manufacturer for the product, along with the manufacturer FDA number. If the item is described in a language other than English on the commercial invoice, CPB will not accept it.

Here is a link to an eCFR page outlining their requirements.

Please see the example of an ideal commercial invoice below