Even taken at their word, it doesn't change the fact that they are using documentary procedures that are unusual, and abnormal. Contact any business college, or speak to established traders or people working for large multinational corporations. Talk directly to international bankers on this.
On Offer acceptance there is either a contract generated or a pro forma invoice generated. Since the offer is binding once accepted, the offer if well enough detailed and advised can and often does take the place of the contract. Customarily in Real Estate transactions the purchase offer itself is generally also the contract for purchase as well. The offer becomes a binding contract once accepted.