In order to professionally engage in trade at the international level, every entrepreneur needs to know the maximum about all the operations and procedures that are involved in the export and import of goods. Activity is impossible without working with customs, and therefore you need to understand the intricacies of drawing up the documentation necessary for passing control. One of the important forms is a proforma invoice – what is it, why can’t you do without it, and how to fill it out correctly so that there are no problems with customs clearance?

An invoice is one of the key documents of the package required for presentation to customs in the course of commercial activities in the field of road, rail, sea and air cargo transportation . The form contains all information about goods crossing the border: their quantity, cost, technical characteristics, delivery terms and other information. This is a kind of waybill, without which the products simply will not be allowed to enter Ukraine.

Who prepares the document

The form is filled in by the seller at the time of purchase of goods or their shipment. It is transferred first to the transport company, and then to the new owner of the product. There are two types of invoices – proforma and commercial. But in any case, it is filled in by the sender.

An important point is the official accreditation of the company – it must have the right, in accordance with the legislation in force in the country, to send inventory items abroad. That is, the papers accompanying the shipment must have an exclusively “official” character. The form is filled in in most cases in English, which is considered international in the field of trade. If necessary, a translation of the text into the language of the recipient country is also attached.

A commercial invoice, by and large, is an invoice, which is drawn up after the formation and packaging of the order. It indicates the price of the product, its name, the number of positions and batches, the exact size and weight, colors, terms of delivery and payment for the purchase, information about the sender and the customer, their contacts. Outwardly, the document looks like a detailed check.

A proforma invoice is a preliminary invoice issued by the seller. It is drawn up after placing an order for the purchaser’s acquaintance – the data can be edited if individual items or batches have been replaced, added or removed due to non-compliance with the requirements.

The proforma is used in cases where the seller has not yet paid for the products, but is going to do so after checking all the data. You can use paper to agree on the terms of delivery with higher authorities, to study the terms of cooperation, to issue a loan to pay for a purchase, and the like. The document is also useful in cases where it is impossible to determine in advance the weight of the cargo, for example, bulk materials. The proforma is used to start loading, and after its completion, a commercial invoice is issued to send products abroad.

How to check a document

The invoice is provided for the assessment of the cargo at customs control. He can accompany not only products for commercial activities, but also goods purchased at auctions for personal use (for example, a car ), cargo that is transferred as a gift or transported for further processing.

If we are talking about pro forma, the data in the document may change during the shipment. You can change not only the weight and dimensions indicated on the paper, but also articles, identification values, markings, codes, product type and other characteristics.

Checking the data and detecting errors in them during customs clearance is one of the reasons why the cargo “gets stuck” at the border and does not receive permission to import documentation. Therefore, the sender must take full responsibility for filling out the invoice – the rules are governed by the legislation of the receiving state.

A sample of filling is easy to find on the Web – it is worth checking its correctness before the shipment is sent, so that when receiving it you will not encounter considerable difficulties at customs. You can also use a free form, but all data must be specified.

Required fields are:

  • details and names of the parties (sender and recipient);
  • Name of product;
  • exact price;
  • the total cost of the purchased volume, if we are talking about several parties or a certain weight, quantity;
  • the currency in which the transaction was carried out;
  • the amount of discounts received or the number of “gifts” from the seller;
  • date of preparation of the document.

Depending on the field of activity of the company, the proforma may contain other important data, for example, the amount of taxes paid, the terms of payment for the goods, their delivery, items about loading and shipping.

The proforma performs all the functions of the account, but is not the account itself. To make a payment, you need a commercial invoice – it acts as a result of the concluded transaction, the terms of which suit both parties.

The proforma and the commercial invoice are certified by the seal of the sender so that the documents are legally binding. The seller also needs to know the exact name of the recipient company, OKPO code, legal address and bank details of the legal entity.

How to check a document

Checking is an important stage that is necessary for the safe and smooth passage of goods at customs control. Particular attention should be paid to:

  • paragraphs describing the items transported (it must be as complete and accurate as possible);
  • the item on the cost of products in the currency of the exporting country (data are taken into account when calculating the customs duty);
  • the total amount that the buyer paid or will pay;
  • the authenticity of the sender’s signature and seal.

Even the slightest inaccuracy or mistake when filling out the form can cause untimely delivery of the goods. He will be at customs until the inspectors have not the slightest suspicion of the legality of the transaction concluded between the sender and the recipient, and that the recipient is not going to deceive the state, in particular, when paying the necessary taxes.

A document can be drawn up in printed form or by hand, but all data must be written in legible handwriting, because in case of incomprehensible situations, a dispute with customs may not be resolved in favor of the consignee. According to international standards, the invoice is drawn up in 6 copies (original and 5 copies). This amount is necessary in order for the document to end up with all the participants in the transportation – the sender, the recipient, forwarders, representatives of the transport company.

The verification of paper, one of the most important in the package of accompanying documents, should be entrusted to a professional broker. Moreover, it is worth contacting specialists both for newcomers from the international trade industry and for experienced businessmen, because in the end everyone can face difficulties at customs, regardless of their “savvy”.

Clients will find a wide range of services at an affordable price in the Sea Way company – an expert in the field of international cargo transportation. The company will become a reliable partner for everyone who strives for the prosperity and successful operation of their business.

What is an invoice for?

This is a paper that is an official confirmation of the conclusion of a legal transaction between the seller and the buyer, the sender of the goods and the recipient.

The invoice confirms the fact of shipment of products, the obligations of the recipient regarding its payment. The information specified in the paper affects the passage of the cargo through customs control, as well as the amount of duties and taxes that will need to be paid during customs clearance.

The proforma allows you to adjust the order at the stage of its formation, study the terms of the transaction being concluded, assess possible risks and prospects, and prepare for the anticipated waste.

The completed form helps to identify the cargo by the recipient, sender or type – this gives certain guarantees that the goods will not be lost or damaged during transportation, because if a defect is found upon receipt, the buyer will be able to receive compensation from the insurance or transport company.