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Export Sales Contract- Proforma Invoice


An Export Sales Contract is a formal agreement between the Importer (buyer) and you (seller) to exchange goods and services. It has many constituents like price quotations, mode of payment, delivery terms, date and time, credit terms, etc. Any Export Sales contract process starts with a 'Proforma Invoice'. It is a sample invoice provided by you (exporter) prior to a sale, informing your buyer of the price, kind & quantity of goods to be sent, and important specifications like weight, size, color, and similar characteristics.

The proforma invoice acts as a contractual offer (which may be accepted by importer´s transmission of a purchase order), and it is supposed to be exactly replicated in the final commercial invoice so that your buyer receives no surprises as regards, either the goods or the price. Your buyer may need a proforma invoice to be able to apply for an import license or a foreign exchange permit. The letter of credit will be issued to you on the basis of a quotation on the proforma invoice.

The proforma invoice should include the following information:

  • A unique proforma invoice number.

  • The date on which the proforma invoice is prepared.

  • The identities and addresses of the seller and the prospective buyer.

  • The proposed terms of sale (preferably Incoterms rules).

  • The proposed terms of payment.

  • A complete description of all line items including their unit costs and line-item totals.

  • The grand total costs.

  • Any certifications required by import authorities of the buyer´s country.

  • The validity period of quotation.

  • A signature by an authorized person at the seller´s company, if required.

When accepted entirety by buyers, the proforma invoice often becomes the “offer” and even acts as a sale contract. For this reason, you should take care to quote pricing and delivery terms (INCO Terms) information that you can manage for any order received from the prospective buyer during the validity period of quotation.

Ximpex conducts a deep study of your business and products to help you in drafting the best proforma invoice to maximize your returns on any export order. Our team of consultants helps you in negotiating the best offers with the importers and winning the deals.


Author: Sachin Yadav Co-Author: Lisa Goel


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