The role of bill of exchange in export business


The information provided here is part of Import Export Training course online

The role of bill of exchange in export business

How bill of exchange works in export trade? Are export sales under a bill of exchange safe for an exporter in a DA terms of payment?

What is a bill of exchange? How does Bill of Exchange function in Export and Import business?

In an international trade, bill of exchange is a negotiable instrument made by seller/exporter addressed to the buyer/importer.

role of bill of exchange

Once after shipping goods, the required documents for import along with bill of exchange are submitted with exporter’s bank to send to foreign buyer through buyer’s bank. The said bill of exchange draws in duplicate as per specified format. 

Bill of exchange contains the reference details of shipment, amount of invoice to be receivable from overseas buyer, the time of payment to be effected, bank details etc.  A sample body structure of a bill of exchange is as follows:


"On 60 days from the date of bill of lading, please pay an amount of USD 0000  to this first of exchange (second of exchange unpaid), to the order of xyz bank against invoice number 0000.   To: xyz bank "


The bill of exchange is drawn on the letter head of exporter and signs under and sends to buyer through his bank.  Once after reaching documents to overseas buyer, he accepts bill of exchange by signing on bill of exchange.   On maturity date of bill of exchange, the buyer effects amount of proceeds to the supplier of goods through his bank.  I have written a detailed article about Bill of Exchange in simple terms to make you easily understand,you can click here to read – Bill of Exchange, a brief tutorial.


The legal strength of bill of exchange in international trade under DA terms of payment has to be discussed with the experience of traders, as I personally have no recommendations on this mechanism. Also read Export bills discounting formalities.     Negotiation procedures and formalities of export bills

Do you wish to add more information about the mechanism of bill of exchange in Export Import trade of International Business? Share your experience in handling Bill of Exchange in Export Import trade.


Comment below your thoughts and discuss about functions of Bill of Exchange in Export and Import trade of International Business.


The above information is a part of Online Training Course on howtoexportimport


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Jai prakash mishra: I want the word or Excel "Bill of Exchange"format . you send us the format for Bill of Exchange as soon as early possible. Thanks Jai Prakash mishra

David Webster : If you would be so kind to give me a few minutes of your time there are a couple of questions that I would like to ask you. Firstly, if I have ordered a certain quantity of goods from a factory in China, and paid the FOB price with stowage charge included, does this mean that the Bill of Lading is given directly to me from the shipping company that I have decided to use? Secondly, if the above is to be true, if I wish to pay by Collection on Documents, what is the name of the bill of exchange that the Chinese company will give to me? Is it a 'Clean Bill of Exchange'? Thirdly, I only want to pay for my goods after they have arrived in London. Does this mean that the Chinese factory will have to issue me with a usance bill to ensure that I pay? At which point in the process would this bill be issued, and how long does it typically take to process?

Stephen PK : The payment method is actually....Buyer pays partial payment and takes original documents from his bank and pays the rest in 30 days. Its called in French "Remise documentary a vue partielle" I am searching for its english equivalent. which equivalent term would suffix for the same in English.

Admin: Hi David Webster, We have posted detailed articles about Bill of lading, bill of exchange and other import procedures in this website You may read the same.

Hartej Singh : A client of us is importing machineries wherein usuance period is 5 years from shipment. As per RBI guidlines maximum tenor for imports canot be greater than 3 years from shipment.Interest will be less than L+350bpps for this transaction. Kindly advice as to how we will handle this type of transaction.It will be NON-LC backed under URC 522 guidlines. Will this be treated as trade credit as for trade credit tenor can be maximum 5 years. If yes then how the documentation will go and also do we need to report the same to RBI if it is being treated under trade credit.

jacob: does the bill of exchange under doc. collection made out to drawer's order must olso be endorsed by the drawer?

santosh sharma : i am see your website sir we are freightforwarder in india we have done two shipments for USA one for houston and one for norfolk but due to such big mistake in operation the cargo was exchange in container so now we want to delivey cargo in rright place so please advise us how we do.

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