We have addressed the eUCP on a number of occasions in the past, but believe it would be useful to outline how the rules have progressed from initial conception.
In fact, as we have mentioned before, there was actually a precursor to the eUCP known as the Uniform Rules and Guidelines for Electronic Trade and Settlement (URGETS). URGETS had been developed under the auspices of the ICC Electronic Commerce Project but never actually came to fruition - although the authors of this blog still have a draft of the proposed text.
Both Gary Collyer and David Meynell were members of the original ICC Working Group on the Supplement to UCP 500 for Electronic Presentation (eUCP).
First published as version 1.0 on 31 March 2002, a revised version (1.1) was released in conjunction with the implementation of UCP 600 in July 2007. This provided updates in order to bring the rules in line with the changes in terminology in UCP 600.
At the time, it was highlighted that the rules were structured to align with UCP 600 and, as such, follow a logical progression. It was also noted that future versions would be released as and when required according to technological and market developments.
Changes in eUCP version 1.1:
- Article e1 (Scope) updated to refer to UCP 600
- Article e3 (Definitions) amended ‘appears on its face' to ‘appear on their face'
The latest version, 2.0, is known as ‘Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP 600) Supplement for Electronic Presentations ("eUCP")'.
On 6 June 2017, the ICC Banking Commission launched a Digitalisation Working Group to anticipate and accompany the digitalisation of trade finance. As announced at the time, one core activity was an evaluation of ICC rules in order to assess e-compatibility and ensure they are "e-compliant". ?
The work-stream tasked with this activity evaluated and concluded that two essential pieces of work needed to be taken forward: an update of the existing eUCP rules and the formulation of new rules covering electronic presentation for Documentary Collections (eURC).
Co-chaired by Gary Collyer and David Meynell, the drafting process came to an end in January 2019. ICC National Committees voted for approval of both sets of rules in March 2019, and they came into force from 1st July 2019.
Changes in eUCP version 2.0:
- Introduction of Preliminary Considerations
- Article e1 (Scope) including re-wording of heading to add the shorthand rendition ‘eUCP'; minor structural changes; clarification that if an eUCP credit does not indicate the applicable version of the eUCP, it is subject to the latest version; addition of the requirement to add a physical location of a bank
- Article e2 (Relationship of the eUCP to the UCP) added minor structural changes
- Article e3 (Definitions) added minor structural changes; format of each term to reflect that used in UCP 600; addition of ‘data processing system' to the ‘place for presentation'; new definition for ‘Presenter', ‘Data corruption' and ‘Data processing system'; definition of ‘Electronic record' expanded to include logically associated information; deletion of the word ‘traditional' from the definition of ‘paper'; definition of ‘Received' updated to refer to a data processing system, and included added reference to viewing and examination; ‘new definition for ‘Re-present' and ‘re-presented'
- Article e4 (Electronic Records and Paper Documents v. Goods, Services or Performance) is a new article
- Article e5 (Format) included minor structural changes
- Article e6 (Presentation) added structural and grammatical changes; amended ‘beneficiary' to ‘presenter'; provided more precise explanation as to which banks are impacted; clarified that the notice of completeness acts as notification that the presentation is complete; clarified that the period for examination commences upon receipt of the notice of completeness; highlighted that a notice of completeness is not required in the forwarding of electronic records by a nominated bank to a confirming or issuing bank; added additional methods in order to identify an eUCP credit; outlined that in the event that the expiry date and/or last day for presentation are extended, it should be indicated in the covering schedule that this is in accordance with the rules
- Article e7 (Examination) included sub-articles moved from the previous article e7 (Notice of Refusal); added minor structural changes; expanded to nominated bank acting on its nomination, aconfirming bank, if any, or the issuing bank; clarified that the forwarding of electronic records by a nominated bank indicates that it has satisfied itself as to the apparent authenticity of the records; added a sub-article to address the inability of an issuing bank or confirming bank to access electronic records already found compliant by a nominated bank
- Article e8 (Notice of Refusal) added minor structural changes; sub-articles moved for relevance to new article e7 (Examination)
- Article e9 (Originals and Copies) included minor structural changes
- Article e10 (Date of Issuance) provided a change of emphasis in that an electronic recordmustnow be dated
- Article e11 (Transport) added ‘taking in charge' and ‘goods accepted for carriage'; included minor structural changes
- Article e12 (Data Corruption of an Electronic Record) amended the title for preciseness; clarified the role of the banks; included minor structural changes
- Article e13 (Additional Disclaimer of Liability for Presentation of Electronic Records under eUCP) included minor structural changes, added reference to a data processing system; highlighted that banks are liable for their own data processing systems
- Article e14 (Force Majeure) is a new article