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Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation

LC Mechanism

Compiled by V.V.S. Rao

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism


International Trade Operational Cycle
1. Sale Contract sent 2. Contract accepted 3. Ships the Goods Exporter Goods Delivered against Documents Importer

4.Submits Documents for Collection

Payment credited

7.Payment/ Acceptance

6.Documents Presented

8. Payment Forwarded

5. Documents forwarded Exporters Bank Importers Bank

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism Risks associated with trade

Seller

Buyer

Possession of Goods given up without Receipt of Payment

Payment made without Receipt of Desired quality/quantity of Goods

Parties are located in different countries Different legal systems Different Regulations and Restrictions Different Currencies Exchange rate Fluctuations Political Instability Unpredictable Natural Disasters Unpredictable Financial Market Disasters

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism Definition of Letter of Credit
An arrangement by means of which a Bank (Issuing Bank) Acting at the request of a Customer (Applicant) Undertakes to pay / Accept & Pay (Honour) To the Beneficiary of LC

A predetermined amount ( LC amount)


Before a given date (LC Expiry date) According to stipulations (Terms) against presentation of stipulated documents All parties to a credit deal with documents and not with goods / services / performances

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism


LC Operation Cycle
Take delivery of goods Sales contract entered

Exporter / Beneficiary

Importer / Applicant
Ship the goods

Advises LC

Present docs and debit

Applies for LC

Presents documents

Negotiates & Pay

Advising Bank
Present documents Issues LC through

Pay / Accept & Pay

Issuing Bank

Negotiating / Confirming Bank

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism

Types of Documents Regulatory Documents Commercial Documents Principal

Exchange Control Documents Freight Payment Certificate Gate Pass

Bill of Exchange Commercial Invoice Packing list Bill of lading Insurance Policy Certificate of Inspection Certificate of Origin Shipment Advice

Auxiliary

Shipping Bill ARE Vehicle Pass etc

Shipping instructions Insurance declaration Intimation for inspection Shipping order Mate's receipt etc

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism


Various parties to LC
Applicant

Negotiating Bank

Beneficiary

LC
Reimbursing Bank Issuing Bank

Nominated Bank

Advising Bank Confirming Bank

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism

Obligations of various parties to LC


Issuing Bank (Opening Bank)

Issues (Opens) the LC based on the LC Application of applicant Once the documents under LC are received from Negotiating / Confirming Bank honour its commitments. Or in case if discrepancies are found in documents communicate the same to negotiating bank within 5 banking days While communicating the discrepancies the same has to be done in one lot and not in installments and should state that it is holding documents at the disposal of Negotiating/Confirming Bank awaiting further instructions See Article 16 of UCP for waiver of discrepancies
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Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism Obligations of various parties to LC Negotiating Bank

Receive the documents submitted by beneficiary Examine the documents in terms of LC If they appear on their face to be in accordance with LC negotiate the same under LC (pay or agree to pay or accept) Negotiation includes pre-purchase of draft, if the bills of exchange are drawn on another Bank Forward the documents to Issuing Bank Claim reimbursement from the issuing bank or reimbursing bank (as per LC) on the due date

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism Obligations of various parties to LC Confirming Bank

If requested by Issuing Bank, add its confirmation to LC Step into the shoes of the Issuing Bank Advise the confirmation (providing additional undertaking) to Beneficiary of LC Once the documents under LC are received from Beneficiary honor the LC commitments.

In case if discrepancies are found in documents

Communicate the same within 5 Banking days in one lot stating that it is holding documents at the disposal of Beneficiary awaiting further instructions.
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Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism

Obligations of various parties to LC


Nominated Bank If a Bank is nominated by Issuing Bank for negotiation such Bank is called Nominated Bank and negotiations / payments are restricted to such nominated Bank. Such Bank will become the Negotiating Bank If no Bank is nominated, any Bank can be a Nominated Bank.

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism Obligations of various parties to LC

Reimbursing Bank:
If a credit states that reimbursement is to be obtained by a nominated bank claiming on another party, such other Bank is referred as Reimbursing Bank The credit must state that the reimbursement is subject to the ICC rules for bank-to-bank reimbursements in effect on the date of issuance of the credit.

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism

Obligations of various parties to LC


Advising Bank

By advising an L/C, the advising bank signifies:


An advising bank that is not a confirming bank advises the credit and any amendment without any undertaking to honour or negotiate. By advising the credit or amendment, the advising bank signifies that it has satisfied itself as to the apparent authenticity of the credit or amendment.
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Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism Obligations of various parties to LC

Beneficiary to LC (Seller / Exporter)

Ship the goods within the dates stipulated in the LC Submit the documents as per LC terms to the Nominated Bank within the dates stipulated in the LC for presentation

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism

Obligations of various parties to LC


Applicant to LC (Buyer / Importer) Importer is responsible to make payment to Issuing Bank in terms of LC application, if all the documents and terms of LC are in compliance.

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism

Types of Letters of Credit

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism Various types of Letters of credit

Revolving Credit Transferable Credit Installment Credit Deferred Credit (with undrawn balance) Red clause Credit Green clause Credit Revocable Letter of Credit Irrevocable Letter of Credit Back-to-back Credit Sight Credit and Usance Credit Standby Credit (ISBC of ICC)

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism

Revolving Credit
Single L/C that covers multiple-shipments over a long period.

Instead of arranging a new L/C for each separate shipment, the buyer establishes a L/C that revolves either in value (a fixed amount is available which is replenished when exhausted) or in time (an amount is available in fixedinstallments over a period such as week, month, or year).
L/Cs revolving in time are of two types: in the cumulativetype, the sum unutilized in a period is carried over to be utilized in the next period; whereas in the non-cumulative type, it is not carried over.

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism

Transferable Letter of Credit


A transferable letter of credit allows the beneficiary to act as a middleman and transfer his rights under a letter of credit to another party or parties who may be suppliers of the goods. Depending on whether the letter of credit permits partial shipments, fractional amounts may be transferred to more than one beneficiary. The letter of credit however, can be transferred only once: the secondary beneficiaries cannot transfer their rights to a third party. Transfer of a letter of credit can be made on specific application by the original beneficiary to the authorized transferring bank

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism

Red Clause Letter of Credit


A red clause letter of credit incorporates a clause, traditionally written in red, which authorizes the bank acting as the negotiating or paying bank to pay the beneficiary in advance of shipment. This enables the purchase and accumulation of goods from a number of different suppliers, and the arrangement of shipment in accordance with the letter of credit terms. Such advances will be deducted from the amount due to be paid when the documents called for are presented under the letter of credit.

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism Green Clause Letter of Credit

This type of letter of credit envisages grant of storage facilities at port over and above the pre-shipment payment to the exporter. In India opening of Green Clause LC covering import of goods in our country requires prior permission.

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism

Revocable Letter of Credit A revocable letter of credit may be revoked or modified for any reason, at any time by the issuing bank without notification. It is rarely used in international trade and not considered satisfactory for the exporters but has an advantage over that of the importers and the issuing bank. There is no provision for confirming revocable credits as per terms of UCPDC, Hence they cannot be confirmed. It should be indicated in LC that the credit is revocable. If there is no such indication the credit will be deemed as irrevocable.

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism Irrevocable Letter of Credit In this case it is not possible to revoke or amend a credit without the agreement of: Issuing bank Confirming bank, and Beneficiary Form an exporters point of view it is believed to be more beneficial. An irrevocable letter of credit from the issuing bank insures the beneficiary that if the required documents are presented and the terms and conditions are complied with, payment will be made.

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism Confirmed Letter of Credit Confirmed Letter of Credit is a special type of L/C in which another bank apart from the issuing bank has added its UNDERTAKING. Although, the cost of confirming by two banks makes it costlier, this type of L/C is more beneficial for the beneficiary as it doubles the assurance of payment, especially from a local bank which is better known to beneficiary.

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism Sight Credit and Usance Credit Sight credit states that the payments would be made by the issuing bank at sight, on demand or on presentation. In case of usance credit, draft are drawn on the issuing bank or the correspondent bank for specified usance period. The credit will indicate whether the usance draft are to be drawn on the issuing bank or in the case of confirmed credit on the confirming bank.

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism Back to Back Letter of Credit
Although not recorded on a letter of credit, back-to-back is a

term used in transactions involving two irrevocable letters of credit. Such transactions originate when a seller receives a letter of credit covering goods which must be obtained from a third party who in turn requires a letter of credit. The second issuing bank looks to the first issuing bank for reimbursement after paying under the second letter of credit. The difference between back-to-back letters of credit and transferable letters of credit, is such that in a transferable letter of credit, the rights under the existing letter of credit are transferred. In a back-to-back transaction, different letters of credit are actually issued.

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism Standby Letters of Credit
Standby letters of credit may apply in general to transactions which are based on the concept of default by the applicant in performance of a contract or obligation. In the event of default, the beneficiary is permitted to draw under the letter of credit. Standby letters of credit may be used as a substitute for performance guarantees, or issued to guarantee loans granted by one firm to another, thereby securing payment to the creditor in the event the other party fails to repay its obligation on the due date. Even if the applicant claims to have performed, the bank issuing the letter of credit is obliged to make payment provided the beneficiary produces complying documents, usually a sight draft, and a written demand for payment.

Intl Trade Procedures & Documentation - UCP 600 & LC Mechanism