Back to Basics – Documentary Credit – Document Preparation


A beneficiary may issue any document except where: 

(a) the rules state otherwise; 

(b) the documentary credit specifies the name of another issuer; or 

(c) the documentary credit refers to the type of issuer as an independent, competent, qualified or local company, etc. - which is interpreted in UCP 600 article 3 as any issuer except the beneficiary.


Discrepancies can be avoided in a presentation by paying more attention to detail and reducing the amount of unnecessary data that is included on the documents.


This is achieved by carefully considering whether to include additional or superfluous information on a document. Avoiding anything that could call into doubt the compliance of a document is a sensible option. By only incorporating data that is required by the terms and conditions of the documentary credit or the rules, a beneficiary will significantly increase the likelihood of a presentation being found to be compliant.


If in any doubt as to the requirements for the completion of any document, the beneficiary should contact the nominated bank and seek their guidance.


For documents not issued by the beneficiary, the beneficiary should provide their freight forwarder, carrier (or its agent), insurance company, etc. with a copy of the documentary credit to ensure that they can comply with its instructions. 


For obvious reasons, this should happen prior to shipment of the goods. If there are any issues, an amendment should be sought from the applicant. The beneficiary should not rely on an applicant stating that the amendment will follow or to present documents on the basis that they will authorise settlement despite any discrepancy. Once documents are discrepant, there is no undertaking from the issuing bank or any confirming bank.




This subject is covered in far greater detail within our training module ‘documentary credits preparation' which can be purchased at


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