Commercial Invoice - Order Values, Tax, Discounts and how to adjust them


  • Starshipit has three order value adjustment options to help you manage customs values on commercial invoices.
  • It is recommended that you declare the total value of the items and that the total of the line items add up to this declared value.

How it works

The value declared on commercial invoices is a grey area. Should it be the actual value of the items? The value paid? Should it include tax? Shipping? What if it is free shipping?

Customs are likely to flag any commercial invoices which do not add up, i.e. where the line items do not match the total amount declared so, we recommend you ensure everything sums to avoid shipments getting flagged by customs for being declared incorrectly.

Starshipit supports several order value adjustment functions to change declared values based on line item totals, tax, shipping and discounts.

From your eCommerce or inventory platform we will try and import the below fields (if available) to be used in order value adjustment:

  • Total Value paid by the customer
  • Subtotal
  • Tax
  • Discount

1. Set your order value adjustment setting

  1. In Starshipit, go to Settings > Integrations
  2. Scroll down until you see the Order Value Adjustments section.

  3. Select one of the four radio buttons (more info on options available are below).
  4. Click Save.

No Adjustments
With no order adjustment, Starshipit will use either the total value or sub-total depending on the platform.

Adjustment based on Total Value
Starshipit will always take the total amount paid by your customer and use this as the master value. Working backwards Starshipit then adjusts the item values (on import) to ensure that all items add up to this master value.

Adjustment based on Total Value - Tax
This works the same way as Adjustment based on Total Value, except tax is subtracted from the total amount paid, before adjusting the line items. 

Adjustment based on Total Value - Tax - Shipping
This works the same way as Adjustment based on Total Value, except tax, and shipping are subtracted from the total amount paid, before adjusting the line items. 


There is also an option to apply the actual cost of shipping if you are using DHL Express (see this article to set this up), if you have this option enabled, then ensure you select Adjustment based on Total Value - Tax - Shipping.

2. Example of how this works

We will go through a working example of Adjustment based on Total Value - Tax - Shipping.

We will import the Total Paid by the customer, the tax amount and the shipping amount from your eCommerce platform. In this example let's say we have the following order:

Shopify order #1001

Total paid
This is the amount that the customer paid at checkout. In this example, let's say this is $500.

Shipping paid
What the customer paid on checkout for shipping. Let's say this is $20.

The total amount of tax that was paid. Let's say $50.

The order value adjustment is calculated as follows:
Total Paid ($500) - Shipping ($20) - Taxes ($50) = $430. The declared value we send to the courier will be $430. This is a 14% decrease.

Then for international shipments, the item values must match the total value. So to ensure that the tax is removed from the item values we will decrease all items in the order by 14%. 

So if our above order contained:

1 X $300 necklace * 0.86 = $258

1 X $200 earrings * 0.86 = $172

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