What is a packing slip?

Packing slips are commercial documents that validates the delivery of an order. In other words, it is used to confirm that you delivered a product or some merchandise to a customer. This is usually done by having them sign a packing slip as a guarantee that the purchase was delivered successfully.

Utility of a packing slip

The packing slip is an important document that can prevent misunderstandings between buyers and sellers.

When making a purchase, especially for goods that have already been paid for, it is very important to have proof to show that the customer received it.

Although its use is not mandatory, it is an important piece of documentary and signed evidence on the delivery of certain goods. The buyer should keep the original packing slip and the seller should keep a copy as a record. As this document is so important, it is often treated as a mandatory document!

For the carrier or delivery company, the packing slip is also an essential document. By delivering an order and having the recipient sign the packing slip, the carrier or courier is exempting itself from any claim or future incident after delivery. That is why it is essential for buyers to check that the goods are in good condition and that the quantity delivered is correct before signing the packing slip.

Each packing slip must contain the following information:

  • Place and date on which the packing slip is issued.
  • Buyer and supplier data.
  • Identification code of the document.
  • Date and place of goods delivery.
  • Signature and seal of the company that receives it.

Types of packing slips

The main essence of a packing slip is to confirm that the delivery of a shipment was carried out successfully. That is why on many packing slips you will not see the monetary value of the cargo; this information can instead be found on the invoice. However, some packing slips do include it, implying that there are two different types of packing slips, those that are “valued” and those that are not or “unvalued“.

Valuated slips: The unit value of each product that makes up the total order, including the general amount, is down on the packing slip. In many cases where this type of packing slip is used, the order value appears because an invoice is not attached to the buyer. This type of packing slip can cause problems in case the value shown on the packing slip is different from the value shown on the invoice.

Unvalued packing slips: This type of packing slip does not show the value of the shipment.

Differences between packing slip and invoice?

The packing slip cannot be used to replace an invoice.

Many people often confuse them but the main difference between the two business documents is that the invoice has tax functions and is also mandatory in a commercial transaction. The packing slip cannot be used for taxation purposes and is not a mandatory document.

It is the invoice that records the required payment on a commercial transaction and has both tax effects and tax validity. Unlike the packing slip, it must reflect in its contents the tax data of the buyer and seller and the VAT applied to the value of the goods.

Please note that if you are going to make any future claims about the goods it is essential that you have your packing slip signed by hand.

What do you do if you find the quality of the delivery or the quantity of the delivery unsatisfactory? If you are a buyer and this happens to you, it’s best not to sign the packing slip. In this case the order will be returned. However, if you signed it, you should indicate your observations of any irregularities that you have noticed in the delivered goods.

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