How to do a Proforma and Commercial Invoices for import or export

proforma-invoice-export-importUsually, when the importer and the potential clients are surely satisfied with the quality of their products, the delivered samples, time of the package/delivered are tested and the price are acceptable. They will offer you a confirmed offer. This article gives extended information regarding our ex-products. Proforma invoices, comercial invoices and export documentations.

What will the exporter offer to their clients o customers?

They will offer the budgeted indicated the prices. The quality and the cost of the transport. What happened to the other factors? as the method of the payment, navialability of the goods, the sending instruction, the carges of the service, the sales conditions, description and delivery time. The price, time and cost of the transport is not the sufficiente knowledge on that the customer take an decision of the purchases. The samplify the things to the clients or customer, The exporter should offer an budget invoice format carefully completed.

Most of the exporter provide their customer with the partial information when they asked for the budgeted prices. This is the lacking of the detail and required information. From the part of the exporter is a important factor, by which they will not sale the products with the good quality and necessary compatitive.

However, if you are exporter o importer, is more important to understand how the exporter will success to provide the budget on the base of the formated invoices. Must have the capability to distinguish the budgeted price and the formated invoice and comercial invoice. The following definitions briefly, have it to help you understand their differences y proportionate what really have to include and consider the decision of the invoices.


This is a work sheet for the calculation of the cost of the export of the goods and services at the determinated prices and condition. The Budget will present generally to the customer in the formal way through the formated invoices. The budgeted prices could be include all contents that exits in the typical invoices except:

1) The original country.

2) The title “ formated Invoices” generally not include in the budgets.


This is the quote of the prepared prices in the form of the invoices. A formated invoices is different than the comercial invoices which use for the sale and its delivery before the comercial invoice. The content of the invoice is almost identical against the comercial invoice and it consider for the gerenal binding agreement, however the prices could be change before the final sale.

proforma-invoice-export-importFor the establishment of the lettter of credited (CC) or for the anticipated payment form the importer, banks prefers the formated invoice as a budgets price.

In some of the countries, in EEUU for example, the custom could accept the formated invoices (generate for the importer of the EEUU, no for the exporter). If the required comercial invoices is not available at the moment of the presentation of all the entrance documents( the entrance documents is a process of the presentation of the documents at the custom) the custom could utilized the formated invoices for the evaluation and examination of the merchandized. They required that the registered importer desposite the advance and produce the comercial invoice in between the period of the 120 days next to the date of the entrance of the merchandized.

If the comercial invoice was necessary to statistic effect, the importer would have to produce the comercial invoice in between the 50 days, next of the date on which custom clear the merchandized to the importer.

Proforma invoices are thoughtfully utilized in the international transactions, now they are consider as the binding agreement between the importer and exporter, Also could be required by the some countries, as the part of the their method of the importation licence. The banks and financial institutiones utilized proforma invoices for the open letter of credit and anticipated etc. Same as for the importers.

Samply understandable for its similarity with the comercial invoices, the formate of the proforma invoices supporte the exporters to include all the information that should be figure out in the comercial invoices.

When the company request to send the proforma invoice, should be in mind the following points:

  • The title of the documents should be headed clearly with the” Proforma Invoice”
  • Name, address, telephone number, y email address of the exporter
  • Sale to: Name, Address, Telephone number, Email address
  • Reference number of the Proforma Invoice
  • Published date: the date of the proform invoice is the date of the quoted received
  • Reference number of the consult client and order number, If it is available
  • Payment method and conditions (letter of Credit, pre-payment, T/T, Open Account)
  • Bank information of the exporter for the negotiation of the letter of credit and the detail of the code of the SWIFT for the account transfer
  • Estimated deliver date
  • If there is more than one product, the number of each and every product a part form the number 1
  • Type of the delivery and  entrance (partial batch o completed batch)
  • Indicate the tranship in it case
  • Quantity of each batch
  • Product complete description, include the  coordinated code (HS Code) if it available
  • Indicate clearly the money utilize: (USD, Euro, Yen, etc)
  • The unit price should be include
  • The unit price should be multiple by the budgeted quantity to include the total cost of all the products
  • Any services which additionally proportioned by the providers should be mention in detail and added till reach to the total.
  • Sale conditions. In the case delivery by sea port utilized ultimates INCOTERMS (FOB, CIF, CFR,DDU) Port o convient destiny
  • Identify the number of the units measures, weight, contents, platte, packet, etc
  • Original country of the products
  • The cost of the additional documents, inspection, legalization, etc charge to the importer and exporter
  • Validity: never sign the open compromise. Remember that the date of the validity is changeable
  • Should be sign for to be included
  • Acception column  with the signature, the title of the purchaser to incorported in PI or Presentation Letter

REMEMBER: The proforma invoices are formal offers of sales. When the purchasers are agree with all the term and conditiones of the proforma invoice, the results would be purchase order delivered by them, which is finally create the sale contract. Mean, the purchaser and the exporter are at agreement to have a formal sale contract. The order of the proforma and the purchase order should be order before the merchandized delivered to confirm if there is any discrepancy. In any case is there any discrepancy, the purchaser should be notified with the promptness to correct the errors.


Comercial invoice prepare when the sale in coming upto end. The comercial invoice is the final invoice of the exporter to the purchaser that confirmed the agreement. Could have the exact terms of the proforma invoice that offer in the first request or could be different proper final negotiation. The comercial invoices are also utilized for the custom right, the goods control and check and the recollection of the statistic. It is very important that the exporter consult with the purchaser, type of the information that must be include in the comerical invoice with the end of the passing thought the custom of the purchaser country.

Here are some key area to consider when deliver a comercial invoice.

  1. It must be sent in a comercial habitual form. The mejority of the countries require that each and every delivery represent their own comercial invoices.
  2. Should be send original copy although some countries accept fotocopies with the declaration of the foreigner providers, shipping agente, or importer verifing that could be treat as authentic copy.
  3. When one of the invoice is not available, in some countries accepts a profrom invoice with the accurrate information for the evaluation, examination of the merchandized and compile statistic.
  4. Some of the countries may be require special invoice of the custom department.


Following are the some of the common errores of the exporter invoicing often are made by the exporter. Any of the following errores could cause retardation (delay), penalize, confiscation of the products by the custom staff.

  • Sab invoices, are less declared than the real value of the of the goods.
  • Description is not quantitative.
  • Various distints items are distributed in one group.
  • The provider does not show the invoice included discount at net price.
  • The omission of the bounes, commisiones, packaging and other additional holding right that contain in the market value.
  • Cost of the transport and assurance for any mishap (some of the countries do not include the cost of the transport and the assurance)
  • Lacking of the relevant information and could be possibility of blank lines.
  • Lacking of origin country.
  • Invoice not signed by the provider or agente of the provider.
  • Calculation error in numbers and figures.

Remember,  minimum, one invoice should always mostrate clearly the total value of the invoice, no taxable charged, add to reach at the final market value( if its taxable), and net value of the imported merchandized.

A Proforma Invoice should be prepared carefully, The expoter could be increase the possibilities of acceptation of the offer for the customer finally, increase the sale of the exporter and the benefits. A proforma invoice must be the first document that customer receive form the part of the exporter. There is a psicological order benefit that it´s  sample and easy for the customer o client to accept the budgeted offer.

Help your cliente to accept the offer and consiencely preparred the profrom invoice.

by Irene Maza