The speed and safety of the transport service through which the goods are made available by the seller to the buyer is extremely important as part of an internationalisation process, which is carried out through the opening of export channels abroad by operating in two different markets. The equation assumes that the greater the distance between the place of production and the place of consumption, the greater is the need to ensure fast and safe transport of goods.
There are tools made available to the exporter that must be known to them and used, in an informed manner, to avoid non-fulfilment or to be involved in disputes due to the incorrect execution of international sales contracts.
Among these we can mention:
- The contract of carriage It is the contract with which "the carrier undertakes, in exchange for consideration, to transfer people or property from one place to another". The consignee of the consignment, who is also a creditor of the goods transported, shall have the opportunity to check whether the performance of the carrier has been correctly carried out only at the time when the goods, once arrived at the place of destination, are delivered. The article 1693 of the Civil Code established a liability for the carrier, in the event of loss and/or damage of all or part of the goods carried, with the related possibility for the latter to evade such liability only by showing that the damage is the consequence of a fortuitous case, meaning for such also the force majeure and the act of third parties. In practice, the so called subcontract of shipment has imposed itself; in virtue of this the shipper, instead of concluding the contract of transport in his own name and on behalf of the sender, turns to another shipper also maintaining the responsibility of the operation of the forwarding agent, to determined conditions.
- The terms of yield, the Incoterms International sale contracts, in addition to define the modes of transport, must always indicate the terms of yield. Incoterms rules are international standards defined by the International Chamber of Commerce. They serve to establish easily and clearly the obligations and risks to be borne by the seller and the buyer in relation to the delivery of the goods, so the choice of one yield or another, is to determine which of the parties bears the costs and risks of the shipment.
- The carrier The choice of the type of transport must be well considered in the light of some aspects that characterise the shipment such as: geographical destination, value and type of the goods transported, weight-volume ratio and expected delivery times. Among the possible options and types of transport to choose from there are: transport by land, sea and air. However, the choice of intermodal or combined transport is increasingly being used in the case of long-distance transport.
- The documents for export In foreign trade, certain documents are of primary importance, especially for the completion of customs formalities. Such documents shall include the identification and certification documents for the goods, the transport and shipping documents, the insurance documents and in particular the commercial invoice, the international transport document, the packing list, the certificates of origin of goods, the licences and the deposit visas.
- The means of payment In this context, the contractual interests of the parties are by their nature opposed. On one hand the interest of the seller to a certain and timely payment of the goods, on the other hand the interest of the buyer (foreign) not to make an advance payment for goods not yet received, both for liquidity reasons, and reasons of reliability of the seller with whom there is not already a long-term commercial relationship. An international contract of sale must punctually regulate the method of payment chosen for the purchase of the goods.
- Payment methods The selection of the payment instrument most suitable for the type of sale depends on many factors, such as the degree of risk, the agreed payment terms (in advance, contextual or delayed payments) and the established conditions of return.
The foreign country involved in the transaction has, in particular, an extremely important role in the decision on the payment instrument to be used, given that local legislation can significantly influence the validity of the method used. In any case, the most commonly used methods for settling international business transactions are:
- the cheque, as an instrument of credit issued by an entity to a bank, with an order to pay the beneficiary a specified amount of money, to be paid into a current account in the name of the beneficiary;
- the credit transfer, or the payment order made by paper or electronic means to a bank to pay a sum of money to a third beneficiary, through the bank details of the latter;
- the documentary collection, by which the seller gives his bank a mandate to collect the amount of the supply from the buyer, against the delivery of commercial documents;
- the documentary credit, consisting of the common letter of credit where the credit institution undertakes to make the payment to the seller.
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