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LETTER OF CREDIT

LETTER OF CREDIT
/DOCUMENTARY CREDIT
Letter of Credit is an undertaking issued by a
Bank (Issuing Bank), on behalf of the buyer
(the importer), to the seller (exporter) to pay
for goods and services provided that the seller
presents documents which comply with the
terms and conditions of the Letter of Credit

LETTER OF CREDIT
UCPDC 600 Edition effective from 1st
July 2007
Documentary
Credit
means
any
arrangement that is irrevocable and thereby
constitutes a definite undertaking of the
issuing bank to honour a complying
presentation.

Complying presentation
a presentation that is in accordance with

the terms and conditions of the credit,


the applicable provisions of these rules (UCP 600) and
international standard banking practice.

Honour
a. To pay at sight if the credit is available by sight payment.
b. To incur a deferred payment undertaking and pay at maturity
if the credit is available by deferred payment.
c. To accept a bill of exchange ("draft") drawn by the beneficiary and
pay at maturity if the credit is available by acceptance.

LETTER OF CREDIT
Three main contracts underlying LC
- Sale Contract between Buyer & Seller
- Application-cum-Guarantee between
Applicant(Buyer) and Issuing Bank
- LC itself (contract between Issuing
Bank and Beneficiary/Seller)
( LC independent of other two contracts )
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Mechanics of Documentary
Credit
CONTRACT

IMPORTER

GOODS

GOODS

DOCS

DOCS

NS
E
P
O
IT
D
E
CR

EXPORTER

Letter of
Credit

Advising bank
DOCUMENTS

DOCUMENTS
PAYMENT

Reimbursing Bank

Negotiating Bank/
Confirming Bank

PAYMENT

Parties to Letter of Credit

Opener/Buyer
Issuing Bank
Advising Bank
Beneficiary/Seller
Nominated Bank/Negotiating Bank
Confirming Bank
Reimbursing Bank
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Types of credit
Security to beneficiary

Confirmed

Mode of settlement

Payment/ deferred payment


Acceptance
Negotiation

Involving middlemen

Transferable
Back to back

Involving advances

Red Clause Credit


Green Clause Credit

Involving repeated transactions

Revolving
Stand by
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Transferable Credits
Credit has to be opened as transferable
The beneficiary is normally a trader or agent
He transfers credit to his supplier - second beneficiary.
Transferred by a bank at the request of first beneficiary
Second beneficiary can supply goods and negotiate documents as
if he had received the credit.
He may pay commission to first beneficiary for the order
There can be more than one second beneficiary.
No third beneficiary is permitted.

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Transferable Credits
The following parameters may be changed while
transferring a credit
Amount of credit, unit price and quantity of goods
Date of expiry, last date of shipment and last date of
negotiation can be brought forward
% of insurance cover may be increased.

First beneficiary has the right to substitute documents


negotiated by second beneficiary.

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Back to Back Credits


Exporter receives a credit from his buyer ( Selling credit)
He has to procure goods from other suppliers
He opens a credit for purchase of the goods ( buying credit)
Second credit is said to be back to back to the first one.
Bill proceeds of the export LC (Selling LC) will be used to meet
liabilities under the second (Buying LC)
Amount of back to back credit will be lower.
Usance period of the back to back credit should be equal to or more
than that of the export credit.
Bank still at risk if the customer fails to export
No concession in margin and security norms.
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Revolving Credits
Credit is opened to cover a series of regular transactions over a
longer period
Beneficiary will submit a series of documents
Maximum value of each document will be fixed and is the
revolving limit
LC amount is the maximum value of documents that can be
handled under the credit.
The credit may be reinstated automatically or after payment of
earlier bill.
It can be opened as cumulative or non cumulative.

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Standby Letters of Credit


Credit is issued for a particular amount and for a particular period
Trade takes place on running account basis.
Beneficiary does not submit documents to bank.
If there is a default, he can claim funds from opening bank giving
a certificate of default
No quibbling over discrepancies and documents
Opening bank will pay on demand
Works like a bank guarantee
UCPDC is applicable if so declared in the credit

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LC Regulations

Foreign Trade Policy requirements.


FEMA requirements.
Credit norms of Central Bank.
UCPDC 600 Provisions.

Banks Internal Credit Policies/ procedures .


Public notices issued by DGFT
Uniform
Rules
for
bank-to-bank
reimbursements 525
Incoterms 2010
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Banks Obligation & Responsibilities


Issuing Bank (opening bank)
( UCP Article 7)
-the prime obligator
-to ensure credit-worthiness and trust-worthiness
of the applicant
- Once credit is opened, the bank is placing itself
as a substitute for the buyer.

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Banks Obligation & Responsibilities


Advising Bank has the obligation to
authenticate the credit once it is received
and passing it promptly on to the beneficiary
( Art.9).
Confirming
Bank
takes
over
the
responsibilities of the issuing bank as far as
the beneficiary is concerned though it has
got recourse to the Issuing Bank (Art 8).
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Banks Obligation & Responsibilities


Negotiating Bank
to examine docs. Within 5 banking days
after receipt of the documents at their
counters(Art 14b).
to ensure compliance of credit terms ( on
the basis of documents alone) as well as
consistency of docs with each other.

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Protection to Banks
Banks are not responsible :
for the genuineness or contents of any
documents submitted (Art. 34)
For losses etc. arising from transmission
problems (Art. 35)
Force Majeure ( Art. 36)
For the failings of their correspondent Banks
(Art. 37)
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Protection to Banks
Issuing Bank is responsible for all Bank
charges and other costs at home or abroad
even if they are supposed to be paid by other
party (Art. 37 c).
Applicant is responsible for any adverse
consequences of foreign laws (Art. 37d).
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LETTER OF CREDIT
Appraisal / Assessment
satisfactory track record.
dealings with only one bank.
Liabilities of the applicant to the Bank and third
parties.
Means by which the applicant is expected to
meet his commitment once the bills arrive.
Margin he should deposit.
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Appraisal Issues..
Limit to be commensurate with turnover and CC
limits.
Should be for genuine trade/ manufacturing activity.
Usance period of the LC should ordinarily have
relation to the working capital cycle.
Level of inventory carried should be commensurate
with industry norms / past trends.

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Appraisal Issues.
LCs for purchase of machinery / capital goods should be
backed by borrowers own funds or a term loan
sanctioned for the purpose.
Wherever warranted, in addition to margin, where
prescribed, we may also retain a lien on the undrawn
portion of the CC limit for the value of bills to be
received under the LC.

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Appraisal Issues
Sister concerns:
Where the opener and beneficiary are sister concerns,
LCs should not normally be necessary.
Take care of kite-flying operations.
Standing of the beneficiary.
D/A facilities to applicants of undoubted standing and
where security available is much more than the value of
LC.

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Appraisal Issues
While computing purchase of imported material on LC
basis take net of import duty.
Assess limits for usance and sight LC separately.
Usance period should not exceed the production cycle
excepting in the case of bulk imports.
Keep in mind the accepted projections regarding Sundry
Creditor levels.
Margins & security depending on track record.
Cash budget monitoring to track availability of funds.

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Appraisal Issues.
Revolving LCs:
To be valid for not more than 1 year
The limit should be a sub-limit.
The LC value should be restored for further
negotiation only after the advice of retirement of the
previous bill has been received from the issuing bank
by the beneficiary bank.

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ASSESSMENT OF LC LIMIT

While assessing Letter of Credit Limit, the


following points need to be noted:
Purchases of RM on LC basis should be net of
Import Duty; LC amount should cover FOB, CIF
or C&F value of goods- should not include
customs duty and other charges payable in India.
Payment of these charges should be taken care of
by the main working capital(CC) A/C of
Applicant.
Transit time should be treated as Nil if usance
period starts from shipment date.
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Treatment of stocks covered by


Usance LC
Lien should be earmarked against advance value of
stocks for the outstanding usance LC bills.
This ensures provision of margins on the stocks covered
by usance LCs right from the time the stocks are bought
on credit backed by the Banks commitment.
Thus, it ensures that the margin is available well before
the CC a/c is debited for the matured LC bill.

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Treatment of stocks covered by


Usance LC
In some cases it is quite possible that the units
may not be in a position to provide margins right
from the time of purchases against LCs. In such
cases, based on merits, earmarking of lien for the
value of usance LC bills outstanding may be
permitted against the aggregate market value of
stocks (including the LC stocks) instead of against
the advance value of securities.
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Precautions
The limits for demand LCs and usance LCs should be
assessed separately with ample justifications.
The usance period should not, generally, exceed the
production cycle.
In case of bulk imports, establishment of LCs for longer
usance period may be considered selectively.
When liability under LC is met by creating an
irregularity in the Cash Credit account, the relative LC
limit should not be released for opening further LCs till
the account is adjusted.
Frequent Devolvement's: Warning signal!
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THANK YOU