Customs clearance

Mainfreight offers customs clearance for both your road transport shipments and Air & Ocean shipments. If you´re looking for successful clearances, please consider this:

Cargo letter

Always use an original CMR cargo letter for shipments to non EU countries.

Commercial invoice

For customs clearance and exports of goods an invoice is required. The invoice includes all usual data in English. This may also be offered in another language as long as an accurate translation in English is added:

  • Name, address and VAT number of the importer and exporter (+ EORI number if different from the VAT number);
  • Date and place of dispatch and destination;
  • Delivery address, if different from the name of the buyer
  • Marks and numbers, number and kind of individual pieces;
  • Description of goods (including goods or HS code);
  • Gross and net weight;
  • Type of the package (carton, bale, bottle, etc.);
  • Freight costs;
  • Currency in which the invoice is drawn up;
  • Unit price and total price;
  • Insurance premiums;
  • Royalties;
  • Terms of delivery according to Incoterms;
  • Payment and delivery terms and any credit limits and discounts;
  • Invoice number;
  • Customs clearance office;
  • Name of the carrier;
  • Goods and services that are used for the manufacturing of the goods, but does not be a part of the invoice price;
  • On the bottom of the invoice: name of the person who is responsible for the transaction and, if desired, can provide further information about the cargo.
  • Country of origin or declaration of origin;Gross & nett weight; packaging types and amount.
A commercial invoice prepared by the above detailed content composition is not required for the importation of:
  • Non- commercial goods;
  • Recurring undelivered goods;
  • Recurring abroad modified or repaired goods;
  • Deliveries to the US government ;
  • Under bail temporarily imported goods. The customs authorities do require upon importation a declaration that the importer or his customs agent presents a (proforma) invoice.
For footwear the required billing information is extensive.
Exporters of footwear can use customs form "Form 5523 - Invoice Details for Footwear " (PDF document). For certain product categories, one should provide additional information on the bill about the type, quality and composition.
These includes tobacco, corn, fish (products), fur, wool, textiles, bedding, gloves , wood pulp, paper, printing, works of wood, rubber products, semi-finished plastics, plastic bags, tires and tubes, films, metal ore, articles of iron and steel, machinery and components therefor, refrigerators, beads, glassware, ceramics and pottery, chemicals, dyes, colors, watches and watch movements.
The commercial invoice must be signed by the seller, shipper or its agent. Legalization of the invoice is not required.



Eur1 certificate and invoice statement

With an Eur1 certificate or an invoice statement you can claim preferential duties.
No duties or reduced duties are applied to the import of the goods.

An Eur1 certificate is a document which declares that the goods originated from an EU country and can be requested at your local Chamber of Commerce. 

Mainfreight can do this for you, we are in possession of the correct software and license to create a legal certificate. Please contact us for more information.

For shipments with a total customs value of less than € 6.000 you don't need to request an Eur1 certificate. An invoice statement is sufficient. The exporter can issue an invoice statement. With this the exporter declares that the goods originated from an EU-country.
If your goods originated from outside the EU, than you don't need an invoice statement.

The following statements must be place don the pro-forma invoice:

Invoice statement English:
"The exporter of the products covered by this document declares that, except where otherwise clearly indicated, these products are of …. preferential origin."

For Switzerland and Liechtenstein the invoice statement must be issued in German:
"Der Ausführer der Waren, auf die sich dieses Handelspapier bezieht, erklärt dass diese Waren, soweit nicht anders angegeben, präferenzbegünstigte Europäische Gemeinschafts Ursprungswaren sind."

The invoice statement is completed with place of issue, date, signature and the full name of the authorized person. In case the exporter has a permit, then also shipments with a value of more than 6000 euro, an invoice statement can be used. The authorisation number must then be included on the invoice.

Please note: the signature must be original and must be written with a blue pen/ink. A copy or stamp is not valid.

Certificate of origin

When goods originate outside of the EU, a certificate of origin may be needed.

Packing list

This document contains details about the content of the shipment. A packing list is in case of export to customs countries not always obligatory, but it could simplify the customs procedures. Make sure to check (in advance) whether a packing list is required.

General tips

  • Do not put important documents on the pallet. Always give them to the driver. Please send a copy via e-mail to us, so we can do a pre-check beforehand.
  • We cannot make a EUR1 certificate. Only a Chamber of Commerce can do this for you.
  • If you want Mainfreight to do the export for you we need a one time authorisation so we can do the declaration for you.
  • Customs clearance is applicable within Europe for the following countries: Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Andorra, San Marino and Eastern European destinations.
  • Please use EU or CE as an abbreviation for the European Union. Please do not us EG or EC because this will be misinterpreted as an abbreviation for Egypt (EG) and Ecuador (EC).
  • Please note: signatures on documents must always be written in blue ink and need to be original. A copy or stamp is not valid.
  • Please use statistics numbers of your Invoice.

More information

Do you wish to receive more information on customs clearance? Feel free to contact us directly. 

Mainfreight Customs Clearance

De heer F. Martens
T: +31 (0)314 678 253

Mainfreight offers its services in several European countries.
Please contact us for more information or ask for a quote.