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The Exporters? Pocketbook Essay, Research Paper

Sam Vaknin’s Psychology, Philosophy, Economics and Foreign Affairs Web SitesI. The Export Transaction and its DocumentsThe Transaction

Finding a market for the goods (market research)

Selecting the marketing channels



Distribution channels



Commercial Invoice

Commercial Invoice must include (minimum):

Payment Terms

Mode of Payment

Division of Costs

Details of Carrier

Details of Receiving Party

Details of Buyer

Other Details

For best results use the ECE (Economic Commission for Europe) Standard Commercial Invoice

Packing List must include (minimum):

Contents of the Packaging (=of the shipment)

If more than one package or outer and inner packing ? all contents per each packing and per each package must be detailed separately

Permits and Licenses

Export licenses if needed

Standards certificates


Quality control certificates (highest is ISO, such as ISO-9002 or ISO-9000)

Health and phytosanitary certificates

Veterinary certificates

Other permits, licenses and certificates

Service Providers

Marine Transport

Air Transport

Land Transport (lorry, train)



Banking and other Financial Services (factoring, forfeiting, etc.)

Airway Bill of Lading (ABL)

(More details later ? see appendices for samples)

Holder of ABL does not own goods

Air Transport Contract not effected ? but ABL proof of existence of such contract, including weight, measurements, number of packages and invoice.

Marine Bill of Lading (MBL)

Proof of receipt of goods in a certain condition

Proof of existence of transport contract

MBL facilitates the transfer of ownership

Negotiable, transferable and assignable

Subject to the Hague conditions and MUST INCLUDE:

Name and address of sender

Port of loading and Port of discharge

Date of lading and place of issuance of bill of lading

Name of vessel and number of voyage

Identity marks of cargo

Description of goods ? number of packing units, weight, volume

Condition of goods ? statement of carrier (if not stated ? the goods are in good condition)

?Clean on Board? not ?Foul?

Types of Bills of Lading (BL)

Shipped BL ? Goods are on deck of ship

Received for Shipment ? Prior to loading onto ship

Direct BL ? From origin to destination, transshipment not allowed

Ocean Through BL ? In case of transit involving a few carriers. In such a case, each carrier imposes its own conditions on each leg of the voyage and for the limited duration it handles the cargo.

Pure Through BL ? First carrier must transport from port of loading to a mid-point and is responsible for damages to the goods.

Combined Transport BL ? Pure BL which covers shipment by all means of transport (sea, air, land).

Forwarder BL ? An agent?s BL. Issued by an international forwarder.

Freight Forwarder BL ? BLs of the International Forwarders Association ? FIATA

Types of Insurance Policies (IP)

The IP is prepared by the insurance agent or the insurance company.

Open Time IP ? One time IP, used in air/marine transport. Policy expires with the completion of the transport (with delivery).

Open IP ? Open or current policy used to insure a number of shipments. Payment of premium only for actual shipments. Entails a declaration by the insured to the insurer pertaining to each and every shipment on a pre-determined basis (ad hoc, weekly, monthly and so on).

The rights of the insured party are NOT effected if it BONA FIDE forgot or had no time to declare to the insurer as per above, or if it gave the insurer a declaration containing wrong information. The right declaration can be filed even after the goods are lost or delivered.

Types of Certificates of Origin (CO)

Required by the authorities as a basis for customs duties and taxes discounts or exemptions under trade agreements.

Some destination require CO per each shipment. Others require CO only for specific goods. Sometimes the buyer demands a CO.

The exporter sends the CO to the buyer separately or with the goods.

Issued by the Chamber of Commerce, or by the Customs, or by the exporter itself or by its forwarder in trust.

EUR1 ? To the European Union

FORM A ? To the USA / NAFTA (the customs union of the USA, Canada and Mexico)


Warehouse Receipt proves warehousing of goods in the port area. Needed prior to commencement of the release of the goods by the customs.



Indication / Quotation


Firm Order

Acceptance (the order becomes a contract by accepting it)

Revolving Orders are considered contracts

Order through an agent ? identical to order issued directly by a buyer (Important: demand from the agent proof of agency or representation, such as a power of attorney)

Should include:

Price of Goods (including price ex factory, shipment / transport ? freight costs, insurance, port taxes and expenses, other taxes, customs costs, forwarding costs, costs of issuing certificates, permits and licenses)

IMPORTANT: Make sure WHO pays WHAT

Specifications of Goods ? Type of goods, quality, packing, number of units / quantity per package, packing sub-units

IMPORTANT: Prepare a sample for the buyer ? which will be WORSE than actually delivered goods.

Quantity and Delivery Terms

If it is an on-going (revolving) order ? get from the buyer a projection of its purchases in the future.


Mode and Method of Payment

Transaction Documents

Documents demanded by the authorities (permits, licenses, standards and quality certificates, veterinary certificates, health certificates, labeling, etc.)

Transaction documents (bill of lading, certificate of origin, commercial invoice and specifications, port and customs clearances, banking documents, etc.)

Packing, Freight and Insurance

Define outer and inner packing and sub-packing (materials, shape, size)




IMPORTANT ? Get freight offers from a few forwarders/carriers and make sure ALL the components are included in the price quoted!!!


All costs, including the insurance premiums, are negotiable.

USE an insurance agent or an insurance expert within your company. Insurance is a complicated subject and the insurance companies do their best not to pay on claims.

Proforma Invoice (PI)

Is actually an order and constructed as a commercial invoice ?

But a commercial invoice MUST be provided separately.

Seller sends PI in duplicate (=2 copies)

Buyer signs one copy and returns it to seller

Buyer can prepare order or PI on its letterhead and send it to seller

Must include mode of payment

Sale Contract

Use in case of a complicated transaction, the provision of services (or of goods which contain a service element ? for example, maintenance or training)

Sole Distributorship Contract

In case of doubt, use the ICC (international Chamber of Commerce) Model Contract (see appendix).

A distributor BUYS the goods and distributes them through a network of sub-distributors. He participates in advertising, marketing and sale promotion of the products he distributes. In return, he gets exclusivity for a certain territory, for a prescribed period of time and under certain terms and conditions. He does not distribute competing products and he uses a brandname.

An agent get a commission on sales generated through him ? but does NOT buy the goods.

The Sole Distributorship contract MUST include:

Definition of territory and products

Commitment to act bona fide and with best efforts

Roles of the distributor

Non competition clause

Distributorship and distribution channels

Fairs, exhibitions, advertising, marketing and sales promotion

Delivery terms and retail price list

Sales plan and minimum sales obligations

Sub-distributors and agents

Information exchange

Prices to distributor (distributor price list)

Sales outside the territory

Brandnames and Trademarks ? protection and allowed usage

Inventories and spare parts levels, maintenance and service


Direct sales (by the supplier in the territory of the distributor)

Updates and upgrades

Validity and Expiry of the contract

Termination of the contract

Compensation for damages in case of early termination of the contract

Obligation to return documents and inventory to supplier in case of termination of the contract

Agency Contract

In case of doubt, use the ICC Model Contract (see appendix).

A Del Credere Agent undertakes to compensate the producer / manufacturer if the buyers (clients) default.

MUST include as a minimum:

Appointment of the agent by the seller

First right of refusal regarding new products

Exclusion of OEM (sale to a third party which rebrands the goods with his own brand)

Type of clients the agent may sell to

Exact geographical definition of the territory

Exclusivity (or lack of it)

Bona fide collaboration and commercial fairness

The roles and functions of the agent

Endorsement and adoption of orders concluded by the agent with buyers

No competition clause

Marketing, advertising, fairs and exhibitions

Minimal sales targets


Obligation to exchange information

Financial arrangements (Del Credere, other)

Trademarks and brandnames

Complaints of clients and buyers

Right of seller to sell directly in territory of the agent

Special clients / buyers

Fees and commissions and formulas for their calculation

Right of seller to reject business

Expiry or termination date or absence thereof

Survival clauses and unfinished business in case of termination of the contract

II. The Process of ExportingGeneralized Process of Export

Order received

Letter of Credit or other payment document opened

Production and pre-export phases

Preparation of documents (EUR1, FORM A, specified invoice, licenses and permits, certificates of origin, etc.)

Instructions to forwarder and customs agent

Checking the prices of freight, insurance and forwarding

Commercial export (at the port facilities or customs terminal)

Receipt of documents (bill of lading, confirmed certificate of origin, etc.)

Presentation of documents at the bank and their transfer to the buyer?s bank

Payment received

The Phases of the Export Process

Phase A ? Decision

Phase B ? Preparations

Phase C ? Performance

Phase D ? Post shipment

Phase A ? DECISION Collect Information (internet, specialized databases, market research, meetings, travel, fairs and so on)

Proforma Invoice

Production, quantity, quality, delivery terms, licensing

Price offer (firm offer)

Sale or Supply Contract


You are allowed to export the goods (no export restrictions on your goods)

Is there credit available for purchasing imported and domestically produced raw materials and parts ? going into your exported goods?

Can you honor the order? Do you have sufficient capacity, the right manpower, the needed financing? It is better to say no than to renege on a contract.

Phase B ? PREPARATIONS Import of raw materials / parts (imported or foreign inputs)

Purchase of imported raw materials / parts in the local markets (domestic or local inputs)

Financing the imports

Financing the production


Preparation of documentation

Engaging customs agents and international forwarders


Quality certification

Export license

Freight and transport arrangements

Certificate of origin

Consular confirmation

Phase C ? PERFORMANCEForwarding instructions to the customs agent


Withdrawal by customs agent

Preparation of invoice and specifications

Preparation of VAT claimback

Inspection of exported goods by authorities

Warehousing at the port

Custom clearance

Inspection of exported goods by the client

Port clearance

Authorization to load

Loading and release of documents

Receipt of bill of lading

Receipt of confirmed certificate of origin

Receipt of other documents

Phase D ? Post ShipmentFinancing the documents (=receiving payment)

Presentation of documents in local bank

Statistical registration

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