EDITOR, The Tribune.

I don’t know if English Language Comprehension is the problem or if it is a matter of outdated legal terminology, but dealing with import brokers, who deal with Bahamas Customs, indicates that Bahamas Customs doesn’t understand the fundamentals of commerce today, particularly e-Commerce.

When I advise my freight forwarder of a shipment coming to them, (I usually send a copy or the order) they tell me that Customs will want an INVOICE. There are various definitions of the word “INVOICE” in books as well as the Internet, but whichever one you choose, it will indicate that the INVOICE is a calling in of Money Owed but not yet paid.

A hundred years ago this is how commerce was conducted. You ordered your goods or services and the vendor or supplier would deliver them and then an INVOICE would be rendered, calling in the money. But with the advent of AMAZON and e-Commerce it is now very seldom that an order for goods or services is not pre-paid or paid up front. Therefore, there is never a need to “call the money in” with an INVOICE, because the money is already in the vendors bank account.

BUT Bahamas Customs STILL WANT AN INVOICE. What you typically get with e-Commerce is called an ORDER or ORDER Confirmation which itemises your purchases including quantity, unit price, extended price, Tax if any, shipping if any, and a total. Everything that used to be on an INVOICE (calling in the money) is now on an ORDER showing what you paid for.

Is it that difficult for Bahamas Customs to equate these two English Language terms?



February 19, 2021.


proudloudandfnm 3 days, 11 hours ago

It is annoying, and the only solution is to edit the sales order to read invoice. Its just dumb, just take the sales order and clear the shipment..


GodSpeed 3 days, 10 hours ago

What I want to know is why can I only use exemption when I travel. We should be able to use our yearly exemption amount for ordering things online too. Especially with the virus hysteria going on.


DWW 2 days, 14 hours ago

Did you know that language evolves and changes? sometimes in as little as half a lifetime? Did you know that the meaning of a word can change? This is especially poignant when something like this comes up. If they want to term it an invoice then invoice it shall be, and no point in arguing the pedantics with the establishment - you should know that Bruce.


Sign in to comment