A:

A number of different websites offer free templates to help an individual or business generate a bill of exchange. A bill of exchange is a document commonly used in the business of international trade. It legally obligates the purchasing party to pay the agreed-upon sum to the providing party at a future time for goods received. Similarities can be drawn between a bill of exchange and a promissory note. Both can be drafted by individuals or companies, such as with a trade draft, or by banks, such as with a bank draft. The major difference between a promissory note and a bill of exchange is the latter can be transferred through endorsement and also requires the purchasing party to pay a third party.

The bill of exchange is drawn up by the exporter, or seller, and issued to the importer, or buyer. A third entity often party to bills of exchange is a bank, usually to guarantee or verify payment has been made. Due to unique risks inherent in international trade, such as differing legal jurisdictions, transportation routing and currency exchange rate fluctuations, bills of exchange are often drawn up by the seller’s bank and issued to the buyer’s bank. In the event the buyer does not fulfill the payment obligation, the buyer’s bank generally remits payment and then pursues its customer to be repaid.

There are two particular companies with websites that offer free templates to generate bills of exchange. The GIA Trading Group’s main service offers users a trademarked trading concept for the importing and exporting of manufactured goods around the world. The form requires the issuer to fill in designated lines for essential information, including names, dates and currency. AIB Trade Finance company is the premier risk-management organization in Ireland and offers a free template. The format is very simple and can be adapted easily for individual usage.

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