From A to UCP – Key Documentary Credit concepts explained

From A to UCP – 2nd Edition

– Key Documentary Credit concepts explained

By Kim Sindberg and C.S.. Vijaya Kumaa

Together we have around 40 years of experience in documentary credits. We have often heard it said that it is simply amazing how working with documentary credits offers continuous opportunities for learning; that there are always new topics, angles or questions that pop up. We do not disagree with that, but there is something even more amazing: That, even today it is still the same questions, topics and themes that are being discussed. We are confident of course that the individual documentary credit officer, specialist or expert learn – and do get more knowledgeable as time goes by. It seems however that the collective experience within the documentary credit community really does not grow. Sometimes it even seems like it does the opposite: That during these years the documentary credit knowledge disappears from the banks. We do not want to botanize as to the reasons for that, only observe that this (as an example) can be verified when following the various discussions that goes on in social media such as LinkedIn or Facebook. Some of the topics raised are so basic and demonstrate that the person asking has had no structured training or background. This even applies to some of the Queries that are raised to the ICC Banking Commission, which indeed is very sad.

It goes without saying that we both enjoy a good discussion – and have the greatest sympathy for people who “dare” to reach out to the masters for help, who “dare” to ask the silly questions. It does strike us; however, how many times we have been answering the same questions.

One may argue that there are many books out there to answer the questions; and that is true. However – if one does not fully grasp the context it may be hard to identify the answer.

Let us explain: Many documentary credit books are structured based on the UCP 600; i.e., walking through the various articles; analysing and explaining them. In order to read such books, one must (of course) have a basic understanding of the UCP.

Other books address the issue in a more holistic manner. One of the best (that we know) in this respect is “Documentary credits in practice” by Reinhard Längerich. It links all aspects of the documentary credit – and explains it in context. However, in order to get the full value from this approach, which in fact is rather complex, one must have a solid knowledge in advance.

This is the backdrop on which this book has been written: An attempt to explain some key concepts of the documentary credit in a clear and simple manner. But not only that; also taking it out of its context – so that one can approach one concept when it is appropriate. The idea is to describe each of these concepts as short as possible (and present them in alphabetic order) – and primarily from the perspective of the documentary credit. In a few cases we offer a bit of a background but in general the intention is to strip the concept – the topic – down to its core!

It is our hope that this book will bridge the way to reading other textbooks – that will explain the concepts in a more holistic manner. I.e., that it will create an eagerness to understand and learn more … and above all lead to a more qualified discussion.

Kim Sindberg and C S Vijay Kumaar

The following Documentary Credit concepts are explained in the book:

  • Advising bank
  • Amendments to the documentary credit
  • Assignment of proceeds
  • Availability
  • Back-to-back credit
  • Charter Party Bill of Lading
  • Collection basis
  • Confirming bank
  • Court interventions
  • Documents lost in transit
  • Drafts – Bills of exchange
  • Examination of documents
  • Force Majeure
  • Franchise or excess (deductible)
  • Fraud in Trade Finance
  • Freight and charges additional to the freight
  • Freight forwarders
  • Green clause documentary credit
  • Issuing bank
  • Language of documents
  • Movements (LCL, FCL, CY and CFS)
  • Nominated bank
  • Non documentary conditions
  • On board notations
  • Original documents and copies
  • Red clause documentary credit
  • Refusing a presentation under a documentary credit
  • Revolving credits
  • Shipment
  • Signing of insurance documents
  • Signing of transport documents
  • Silent confirmations
  • SWIFT transportation fields
  • Title of documents
  • Trade terms
  • Transferable credit
  • Transport documents issued “or order” versus “straight”
  • Types of insurance documents

The book is available here:

In India