What is Pro Forma Invoice?
Pro forma means “for the sake of form” in Latin. A pro forma invoice is a preliminary “bill of sale” sent to a buyer before goods are delivered to them. This is very much like a commercial invoice, used as a ‘good faith estimate’ for budgeting purposes. It is often used in international trade.
With a purpose of setting an expectation of how much money must be paid, a pro forma invoice is generalized before finalizing a sale. It may look exactly like a commercial invoice, but cannot be perceived as a finalized document. Thus, a pro forma invoice is not accepted by customs in most countries.
Takeaways from pro forma invoice
These are not official documents and provide the buyer with a precise sale price- an accurate amount of charge will be billed afterwards.
This invoice requires only sufficient information to allow customs to indicate the duties needed from a general examination of the goods included in the shipment.
There are no exact guidelines dictating the exact format of a pro forma invoice.