| Key Stage 7. Advising Bank checks the documents. If they comply
with LC they send the documents to Issuing Bank and may pay the
Exporter in advance of being reimbursed by the Issuing Bank
When the documents are received by the Advising Bank, they are
checked, then if correct, they are sent to the Issuing Bank.
When Documents comply with the Letter of Credit
If the Advising Bank is happy after checking the documents that
they comply with the Letter of Credit, then the process of payment
to the beneficiary can occur.
This process is dependent on where payment is stipulated in the
original Letter of Credit.
- If payment is stipulated to be at the Exporter's bank, then
payment is released to the beneficiary on presentation and
checking of the documents at the Exporter's bank
- If payment is stipulated to be at the Importer's bank, then
payment is released to the beneficiary only after the Issuing
Bank has received the documents, checked them and then sent
funds to the Advising Bank, who will then pass the payment to
When documents do not comply to the Letter of Credit
Discrepancies can occur between the documents presented and the
terms and conditions expressed in the Letter of Credit.
If this does occur, the following courses of action are open to the
- Correct the discrepancy within the original expiry date.
If the Exporter is able to make any amendments within the
original expiry date and presentation period then this is
acceptable. Any alteration to the documents must be authorised
by the party that issued them. If possible a clean document
should be obtained.
- Ask for payment despite discrepancies.
The Advising Bank can be asked to contact the Issuing Bank for
permission to effect payment despite discrepancies in the
documents. This can take a little time and the costs must be met
by the Exporter, however, it can produce a final result more
- Send documents on 'inspection'.
This can occur within the security of the LC, but cash flow is
seriously hindered and an unscrupulous Importer may try to take
advantage by offering a reduced price for a quick settlement
against documents 'as presented'. With documents 'on inspection'
the bank should be requested to instruct the Issuing Bank that
release of the documents to the Importer is to be only against
payment being authorised.
The above measures normally allow the Exporter to retain control
over the goods depending on the circumstances as the Importer
often cannot take delivery without the documents, which are
still in the Exporter's control. However the Importer is in
effect being asked if they still want the goods but are prepared
to accept the discrepancies in the documents. They are still
quite free to refuse.
All mistakes cause extra work and are sometimes accompanied by
additional charges. They can also lead to delays in receiving
payment, price reductions and even the avoidance of liability by the
To help avoid discrepancies, we have highlighted the common mistakes
for the documents below.
- Bill of Exchange
Drawn incorrectly, or the amount differs from that of the
Capacity of the signatories is not stated if required.
Not endorsed or incorrectly endorsed.
Description of the goods differs from that in the LC.
Not made out in the currency of the Credit.
Amount differs from that of the LC.
Amount differs from that of the Bill of Exchange.
Prices of goods differ from those indicated in the LC.
Price basis and shipment terms omitted.
Extra charges included that are not specified in the LC.
Is not certified, notarised or signed as required by the credit.
Does not contain a declaration required under the LC.
Importer's name differs from that mentioned in the LC.
Is not issued by the Exporter.
Be consistent with each other.
- Bill of Lading
Not presented in full set when requested.
Alterations not authenticated by an official of the shipping
company or its agents.
Is not clean, ie. carries remarks that the condition and/or the
packaging of the merchandise is defective.
Is not marked 'on board' when so required.
'On board' notation not dated.
Is not endorsed by the Exporter when drawn 'to order'.
Is not marked 'freight paid' as stipulated in the LC in respect
of Cost & Freight and Cost Insurance & Freight contracts.
Is made out 'to order' when the LC stipulated 'direct to
consignee' (Importer) and vice versa.
Is dated later than the latest shipping date specified in the
Is not presented within 21 days after date of shipment or such
time as specified in the LC.
Description of goods other than that specified in the LC.
Rate at which freight is calculated, and total amount, not shown
when LC requires these details.
- The following are only acceptable if expressly allowed in
the Letter of Credit:
Shipment 'on deck', ie. the goods are not stored in the hold.
Shipment from a port or to a destination other than that
Presentation of types of Bills of Lading not specifically
authorised in the LC, eg. a Charter party Bill of Lading, or a
Forwarding agent's Bill of Lading.
Amount of cover is sufficient.
Does not include risks mentioned in the LC.
Is not endorsed by the insured and/or signed by the insurers.
Certificate or policy bears a date later than the date of
shipment/despatch, except where warehouse-to-warehouse is
Incorrect description of goods.
Alterations are not authenticated.
Is not in transferable form when required.
Carrying vessel's name not recorded.
Does not cover transhipment when Bills of Lading indicate it
will take place.
When the above documents and any other documents are required
by a Letter of Credit, they should:
- Comply with the stipulated conditions of the LC
- Be properly signed
- Have all alterations properly authenticated.