This is a classical error I’ve seeing made in the past.
Some suppliers have an uncanny way of making reference to advance payments on an invoice inconspicuous and hard to find. One would typically read that the total value on the invoice resembles a 30% advance payment found at the lower end of the invoice in very fine print.
In such an example the balance of the payment would be followed up with a supplementary invoice for say 70% of the payment. If this is overlooked it will result into an under payment in Customs duties and taxes. Any Customs clearance must reflect the full transaction value of the goods, i.e. inclusive of all part payments per shipment.
My advice is that payment terms which have being split into two or three lots must be clearly specified and defined on one invoice. If they are split over more than one invoice then this must be clearly indicated.
I further advise that the sum of all part payments on the invoice must be reflected on the bottom line.
At the other end of the spectrum I’ve seeing invoices which cover numerous shipments in one transaction. There is nothing wrong with this so long as the quantities and values on the invoice can be apportioned per shipment. Such instances must be backed up with a packing list per shipment.
Staged Consignments, i.e. large plant or machinery shipped over several consignments should be invoiced appropriately. More about Staged Consignments will be covered in another blog.