Foreign Correspondence – Although exporters sometimes deal direct with foreign buyers, the more usual practice is for transactions to take place through agents of various kinds. For example: (1) the foreign buyer may employ a commission agent in the exporter’s Country;
(ii) the exporter may employ an agent living in the foreign buyer’s country,
(iii) he may send the goods to a in the importing country for sale “on consignment”;
(iv) he may use the services of a shipping and forwarding agent.
The exporter is known as the consignor, and the importer as the consignee.
1. Foreign correspondence.
Correspondence concerned with buying and selling abroad calls for special care because of the time it takes to receive replies and to correct mistakes.
1. The exporter’s correspondence
This will be concerned with the following
(i) Providing quotations and samples.
(ii) Acknowledging indents (i.e. orders for goods or, more strictly, orders sent to an agent to buy goods).
(iii) Sending enquiries to manufacturers in his own country and placing orders with them (where the exporter is acting as an agent).
(iv) Arranging with shipping companies (or forwarding agents) for goods to be shipped.
(v) Arranging insurance.
(vi) Sending shipping documents to the importer, either direct or through the bank.
2. The importer’s correspondence
This will be concerned with the following.
(1) Requests for quotations and samples.
(ii) Placing orders with foreign suppliers, either direct or through agents.
(iii) Acknowledging shipping documents received.
(iv) Arranging insurance (unless this has been done by the exporter, as under a c.i.f. contract).
(v) Arranging for transport from the docks in his own country to his premises, or to a warehouse.
(vi) Sending reports and payments to the exporter.