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HQ 224858

January 7, 1994

ENT-1-07/ENT-1-01-CO:R:C:E 224858 AJS


Mr. Robert Hartley
Novacor Chemicals Ltd.
P.O. Box 2535, Station M
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2P 2N6

RE: Commercial invoice; Computer generated copy of commercial invoice; Declaration required within copy; 19 CFR 141.81; 19 CFR 141.85; 19 CFR 141.86(j); 19 CFR 141.83(c)(2).

Dear Mr. Hartley:

This is in reply to your letter of July 7, 1993, concerning the signature requirements for invoices.


Your company is a Canadian manufacturer who proposes to electronically transmit an invoice to its customs broker in the United States. The transmission will be performed by your plant distribution personnel. The person's name performing the task will be part of the transmission, and would be the same person that would sign the invoice had a hard copy of the invoice been generated. The broker will then print a computer generated copy of this invoice and submit it to the U.S. Customs Service.

In a telephone conversation with this office, you stated that the subject invoice is a commercial invoice which would contain all the information required in 19 CFR 141.86. In this instance, these invoices will be used for transactions between related parties. However, these invoices could also be used for transactions between unrelated parties.


What are the signature requirements for a commercial invoice. More specifically, whether a computer generated
copy of a commercial invoice with the name of the preparer contained within it satisfies the requirements of 19 CFR 141.83.


19 CFR 141.81 states that a commercial invoice or special summary invoice shall be presented to the U.S. Customs Service for each shipment of merchandise at the time the entry summary is filed. In this instance, your company will electronically transmit a commercial invoice to a customs broker who will print a computer generated copy of the invoice and submit it to the U.S. Customs Service.

19 CFR 141.86 provides for the contents of invoices. Paragraph (j) states that each invoice of imported merchandise shall identify by name a responsible employee of the exporter, who has knowledge, or who can readily obtain knowledge, of the transaction. In this case, the name of the person in your company (i.e., exporter) who prepared the invoice will be included on the computer generated copy. Thus, an invoice submitted by your broker with this name would satisfy the requirements of paragraph (j). Your request specifically raises concerns with the signature requirements of section 141.86. However, there is no requirement in this provision for a signature on the invoice. A signature is only required for a pro forma invoice. See 19 CFR 141.85. Consequently, your concerns regarding the signature requirements on a commercial invoice are unwarranted in this case.

19 CFR 141.83(c)(2) provides that the district director may accept a copy of a required commercial invoice in place of the original. A copy, other than a photostatic or photographic copy, shall contain a declaration by the foreign seller, the shipper, or the importer that it is a true copy. In this case, your company is both the foreign seller and importer. The subject invoice will be a computer generated copy and not a photostatic or photographic copy. Therefore, the invoice copy should contain a declaration that it is a true copy. Inasmuch as the invoice will be prepared by your company, the preparer should insert such a declaration within the body of the invoice.


The subject commercial invoice does not require a signature. As long as the invoice contains the name of the person who prepared it, the requirements of 19 CFR 141.86(j)
are satisfied. The subject computer generated copy of the invoice must also contain a declaration from the preparer that it is a true copy.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

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