What are the differences between proforma invoice and commercial invoice?

Proforma invoice is a written proposal, issued by the exporter, which contains the terms and conditions of the foreign trade transaction. 

Proforma invoice is issued at the beginning of the transaction and it would not be accepted as a final document. 

It can be amended even after it is signed by both parties.

Commercial invoice also states the details of the transaction with one exception. 

Commercial invoice issued in order to complete the export and import operation in a foreign trade transaction, as a result its contents are final and are not subject to any further change or amendment.

PS: All corrections made on the face of the commercial invoice have to be authenticated by the issuer.

Today I would like to mention the differences between a proforma invoice and a commercial invoice.

What is the correct way to follow revised proforma invoices?

Once the contents of the proforma invoice is changed, proforma invoice number should also be revised. 

It is important not give a new number to the revised proforma invoice, but use the existing number by mentioning the revision sequences.

What could cause to change the details of the proforma invoice?

There would be various reasons to amend the details of the proforma invoice. 

Let us talks about couple of them as follows:
  • Importer may find the prices too high and demands a discount.
  • Importer may find the delivery date unacceptable and demands a new shipment date, which is more closer than the previous one.
  • Importer may change the quantity of the order by either increasing or decreasing the order amount.
  • Mode of transport can be changed in regards to changing conditions. For example, mode of transport could be changed from sea transportation to air transportation in case of urgent delivery request raised from the importer side.
  • Combination of order can be changed by the exporter due to production constraints.
Is it possible to use a proforma invoice instead of a commercial invoice in custom operations and letter of credit presentations?

It is not possible to use a proforma invoice in custom clearance operations. 

You have to submit a document titled invoice or commercial invoice.

Additionally, letter of credit rules prohibits supplying a proforma invoice instead of a commercial invoice.