The Asiatic indent is an order to import certain goods, usually at a stated price given by a local dealer, to an importer or an export commission house. Such an order is binding only upon the buyer. The mid dleman does not bind himself until he has definitely accepted the order. He does not need to commit him self until he has made certain that he can obtain the goods at a price allowing him to make a profit. The length of time during which the middleman may hold the order subject to approval varies according to local and trade usage, but is usually six weeks. The price at which he is asked to import is a c.i.f. price; the price at which he buys is usually an f.o.b. price. .
Legally, such an indent is a "contract subject to approval." The form of the indent differs in the various markets but usually it opens with the words: "I instruct you to purchase for me the whole or part of the under-mentioned goods." The middleman may accept the entire indent or he may refuse a part of it. The goods travel at the risk of the buyer, but the middleman agrees usually to insure them at ten per cent above invoice value, this excess to be paid to the buyer in case of total loss to reimburse him for the "trade loss." The middleman reserves in most cases the right to dispose of the goods immediately, by auction or other wise, in case the buyer is not prompt in meeting his financial obligations.
These indents were originated for the benefit of dealers of small capital in localities where wholesalers did not care to keep large stocks of goods for imme diate delivery on account of the uncertain and limited demand.
22. Example of an indent.— Indent No. 3584 Calcutta, Sept. 2,9, 1918.
Morgan & Jones Calcutta Gentlemen: We hereby request you to purchase on our account and risk the whole or any portion of the following goods at the price specified. This indent to remain in force for 3 weeks
after its receipt.
1. Delivery and shipment: The prices are understood c.i.f. & c.
The goods are to be shipped during the month of Novem ber by cargo steamer to Calcutta from New York.
Remarks made on samples upon which this indent is based shall be taken as part of this indent.
Each shipment under this indent to form a separate con tract.
Insurance to be from warehouse to warehouse for the amount of the invoice plus 10 per cent, claims if any to be made payable in Calcutta.
No objection to be made for delays, caused by strikes, riots or accidents and for late delivery or non-delivery of goods owing to manufacturers' default or of Force Major. Any dispute shall be referred to two European merchants (one to be selected by each side) approved by the Committee of the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce, and the decision of the arbitration shall be final and binding. The losing party to pay the survey fee.
In the case of glassware you are not responsible for breakage.
2. Payment: You may draw on us at 90 days sight or cause your American agents to draw on us with documents attached. We agree to accept the draft upon presentation in exchange for the documents and to honor the draft upon maturity.
In default of our accepting or paving the draft as above agreed we authorize you to resell the goods at your option at public auction or by private sale on our account and at our risk. We furthermore agree to pay you for any loss including all interest and charges and a five per cent com mission on the amount of the re-sale and waive all right to a possible profit.
(Follows detailed description of goods with reference to catalogs, price lists, quality, packing, and in this case to proper marking with "Made in U. S. A." to satisfy the regu lations of the "Indian Merchandise Marks Act.")