Mandatory Information to Include in a Tax Invoice for Exports

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Export invoices serve as proof of the commercial transaction and are a basis for various regulatory processes, such as customs clearance, taxation, and adherence to international trade agreements. The export invoice serves as a comprehensive record, capturing critical information about the shipped goods, their value, and the terms of the sale. Including mandatory info in export, invoices becomes imperative to facilitate seamless cross-border transactions and adhere to regulatory requirements. This blog delves into the key components that constitute mandatory info in export invoices, shedding light on their significance and collective role in fostering transparency, efficiency, and legal compliance within global commerce.

Definition of an Export Invoice

An export invoice is a formal document that outlines the particulars of goods or services supplied by an exporter and the corresponding amount owed by the importer. While its format resembles a standard tax invoice, an export invoice incorporates additional details specific to international trade transactions.

Reasons for Issuing an Export Invoice

Identification for Customs Clearance:

An export invoice is a crucial shipping document, aiding Customs Officers in accurately identifying and processing the goods destined for export. It plays a pivotal role in the seamless clearance of shipments through customs checkpoints.

Documentary Proof for Insurance Claims:

In the unfortunate event of goods being lost at sea, the export invoice serves as essential documentary evidence. This documentation is instrumental in initiating and substantiating insurance claims, ensuring that the financial aspects of the loss are appropriately addressed.

Customs Clearance at Importer’s End:

Importers often rely on the export invoice to facilitate the clearance of goods at Customs Stations within their own country. The details provided in the invoice are critical for compliance with local regulations and the efficient processing of imports.

Determining Actual Value for Taxation:

Governmental authorities utilise export invoices to ascertain the true value of exported goods. This information is pivotal for accurate tax calculations, enabling authorities to levy the appropriate rates and ensure adherence to taxation norms.

Goods Return and Identification:

In cases where buyers return goods for repairs or other reasons, the export invoice becomes a vital tool for sellers to identify and authenticate their original products. This helps prevent any accidental dispatch of duplicate items during the return process.

Documentation for Payment Repatriation:

If challenges arise in repatriating payment for sold goods or services, the export invoice serves as a documented record. This document can be submitted to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) or relevant financial authorities to seek guidance and resolution in matters related to payment transfer.

Time Constraints for Issuing an Export Invoice by Indian Law:

The timeframe for issuing an export invoice under Indian law, as stipulated by Section 31 of the CGST Act, 2017, is contingent upon the nature of the supply—whether it involves goods or services.

Goods Supply:

In cases where the supply pertains to the movement of goods, the invoice must be issued before or at the time of the removal of the goods for delivery.

Services Supply:

For supplies involving services, the invoice is required to be issued either before or after the provision of the service. However, it must be generated within a specified period to adhere to regulatory guidelines.

Export invoice essentials

 Understanding the required details for the tax billing to ensure compliance and avoid penalties is essential. The following is the compulsory info in export invoicing, which is the backbone of transparent, accountable, and legally compliant cross-border transactions. 

  • Credentials of the Supplier:
    • Name, contact details and address, including email addresses and phone numbers, ensuring clear identification.
  • Credentials of the Buyer:
    • The recipient’s name, address, and contact details facilitate communication between parties.
  • GSTIN of Supplier:
    • The unique GSTIN is assigned to registered taxable persons under the GST Act.
  • Details of Goods or Services:
    • Comprehensive information about the goods sold or services supplied, encompassing rates, quantities (for goods), and corresponding amounts.
  • Invoice Date:
    • The date the invoice is generated provides a reference point for the transaction.
  • Invoice Number:
    • A unique alphanumeric combination sequentially arranged to record and track various transactions.
  • Conversion Rate:
    • Reflecting the currency conversion for export transactions is essential when dealing with currencies other than the Indian rupee.
  • Amount:
    • The invoice’s total value includes insurance, freight, and taxes.
  • Type of Export:
    • Indication of whether the export is conducted under a bond or a letter of undertaking to a Special Economic Zone or after the payment of Integrated Goods and Services Tax (IGST).
  • Details of Shipping Bill:
    • Information regarding the shipping bill, a detailed document filed with Customs to declare the type and value of goods intended for export.
  • Signature:
    • The supplier’s physical or digital signature is an authentication check for the authorised transaction.
  • Notes:
    • Any additional remarks or instructions by the supplier to the importer.

Also Read: GST And Deemed Exports: A Quick Guide For Smooth Business Operation


When exporting goods or services, including specific information in the tax invoices is essential. These inclusions in tax invoices for exports ensure smooth transactions and compliance with regulations. The mandatory data in export service billing include the exporter and recipient’s name and address, the invoice number, date of issue, description of the goods or services, quantity, and value. By including these required details for export billing, businesses can confidently engage in international trade and contribute to their success on a global scale.

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • Why is the conversion rate included in an export invoice?

Since exports often involve currencies other than the national currency, the conversion rate indicates the exchange rate between the Indian rupee and the foreign currency, ensuring accurate financial representation.

  • What is the significance of the invoice date and number?

The invoice date signifies when the invoice was generated, acting as a reference point. The invoice number is a unique identifier that helps track and record various transactions sequentially. 

  • How does an export invoice handle details of goods or services?

The export invoice should include a comprehensive description of the goods or services, rates, quantities (for goods), and corresponding amounts.

  • Can you explain the purpose of including the export type in an invoice?

Specifying the export type (under a bond, letter of undertaking, to a Special Economic Zone, or after IGST payment) helps in regulatory compliance. It clarifies the nature of the export transaction.

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Kiran Jagadale
I am a seasoned marketer specializing in Tax, Finance, and Digital. I bring a wealth of hands-on experience to demystify complex subjects, providing insightful guidance for entrepreneurs, finance enthusiasts, and digital marketers alike.

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