The exporter should write a simple letter to the overseas buyer thanking him for the export order and stating that the confirmation of the same would be sent soon. It may be mentioned here that acknowledgement is different from confirmation. Details of this are given in the chapters on “Export Business Correspondence”, “Internet”, etc.
The export purchase order should be examined carefully and its contents scrutinised, in terms of the pro forma invoice/contract sent to the foreign buyer, on the following aspects.
(i) The order has been received for the product for which quotation/offer was sent and the exporter is still in a position to supply the product.
(ii) Size and specifications should be same as per offer/quotation. Even slightest variation could create problems for the purchaser and the supplier at a later stage.
(iii) Pre-shipment inspection should be either by exporter he or an agency which is easily available. If the buyer desires the inspection to be done by an agent/agency of his choice, financial and physical aspects of the inspection should be examined and communicated to the buyer.
If compulsory pre-shipment inspection by an Indian Export Inspection Agency is required, the buyer should be informed about the applicable scheme. In fact this should be done at the stage of sending an offer/quotation.
(iv) Payment conditions are same as stipulated. An irrevocable Letter of Credit (L/C) should be opened, where required.
(v) Special packaging, labeling and marking requirements, if any, should be noted for compliance. Particular attention should be paid to the individual packaging of consumer goods required for direct sale to the consumers. In such a case, labels, price tags, poly pack/skin packing, etc., would be required and their supply should be assured.
(vi) Shipment and delivery date is in conformity with the exporters production plans and whether:
(a) Part shipment is allowed
(b) Transhipment is permissible or not
(c) Port of shipment/destination is same or changed
(vii) Documents, particularly those which are required with the Bill of Exchange are:
(a) Commercial invoice as usual or any specific notation if required thereon.
(b) Certification by an authority on the commercial invoice. For instance, it may require certification by Embassy-Consulate of the foreign country.
(c) Bill of Lading ‘straight’ or ‘to order’, ‘shipped’ or ‘received for shipment’, direct or ‘through,’ etc.
(d) Certificate of Origin whether the usual one issued by a Trade Association or Chamber of Commerce or special ones like that required for availing of GSP concessions or other preferences. Also whether necessary certification on commercial invoice would suffice or a separate Certification of Origin is required.
(e) Packing list
(f) Insurance Policy or Certificate.
If the exporter is satisfied on various aspects referred above, a formal confirmation of the exporter should be sent to the buyer.
If the exporter is not completely satisfied with the terms of the export order, clarification should be sought from the buyer before its confirmation.
The clarification could be in terms of quantity, delivery schedule, terms of payment, etc. The delivery period should be specific and not a value like “immediate delivery” or “as soon as possible”. Similarly, the payment should be made in the country of the exporter if a foreign bank is involved.