ICC Approved Opinions January 2024



To be re-drafted for discussion during April 2024 meeting.




Under a documentary credit subject to UCP 600, four presentations were honoured by the issuing bank. In each presentation, the beneficiary's invoice indicated "C&F" whereas the credit stated "CFR" (no reference to Incoterms was mentioned). 


A fifth presentation was refused by the issuing bank due to: "Trade term not found in invoice". Four months later, the presentation was honoured.


A sixth presentation was refused on the same basis, but the presenting bank argued that the discrepancy was not valid and, furthermore, acceptance of the same data for the first four presentations indicated that the issuing bank had accepted this trade term. 


It was noted that the matter of setting a "precedent" had been raised in previous ICC Opinions, with the conclusion that all presentations must be treated on a stand-alone basis with no reference to precedent caused by earlier presentations. 


With regard to the alleged discrepancy, it was confirmed that "C&F" did replace the term "CFR" in the Incoterms publications because the ampersand sign caused issues with SWIFT/Telex messages. 


In conclusion, it was stated that the discrepancy was not valid. 




Documents were presented under a credit subject to UCP 600. The credit included a requirement for an air waybill indicating the transport route to be port of loading/airport of departure as any Europe Airport and port of discharge/airport of destination as any Panama Airport.


Both the airport of departure and the airport of destination fields in the presented air waybill indicated the name of a city in Europe (Amsterdam) and Panama (Panama Ciudad DE) respectively, but without the name of a specific airport in either city. 


The issuing bank refused the presentation on the basis that the air waybill did not show the name of the airports of departure and destination. This was refuted by the nominated bank as, in their view, the relevant airports were shown. 


UCP 600 sub-article 23 (a) (iv) states that an air transport document must appear to indicate the airport of departure and the airport of destination stated in the credit. This is reinforced in ISBP 821 paragraph H9. Furthermore, ISBP 821 paragraph H11 states that when a credit indicates a geographical area or range of airports of departure or destination, an air transport document is to indicate the actual airport of departure or destination, which is to be within that geographical area or range of airports. 


It was concluded that as long as a credit did not require a specific port/airport to be named, then the port/airport fields, on a transport document, reflecting a city in a stated geographical area are sufficient for examination purposes. The discrepancy was not considered as valid. 




Clarity was sought on the qualification and scope of responsibilities for an advising bank under a credit issued subject to UCP 600.


In particular, it was questioned whether UCP 600 qualified the role of both an advising bank and a second advising bank, and whether an advising bank has a responsibility to verify if the issuing bank actually exists. 


Questions were also raised concerning whether or not the concerned banks had satisfied their responsibilities. The involvement of a potential third advising bank was also queried. 


A lengthy analysis of the issues was provided with numerous conclusions. In essence, the role of an advising bank is to advise a credit at the request of an issuing bank, and the role of a second advising bank is to advise a credit at the request of the advising bank. 


Furthermore, if an advising bank cannot satisfy itself as to the apparent authenticity of the credit, it must so inform, without delay, the bank from which such instructions have been received. If the advising bank still decides to advise the credit, then it must inform the beneficiary or second advising bank that it has not been able to satisfy itself as to the apparent authenticity of the credit. 


Based upon the content of the query, clarification was provided on the existence of a third advising bank. 




Under credits issued subject to UCP 600, a query has been raised regarding credits that require the presentation of a draft in more than one field of a SWIFT MT700.


It is questioned whether such a credit requires presentation of two original drafts or just one.  


Reference was initially made to the ICC Guidance Paper "The Use of Drafts (Bills of Exchange) under Documentary Credits" which recommends that the practice of requiring a draft for a documentary credit available at sight be discontinued, unless required for a specific commercial, regulatory or legal reason. 


The paper further recommends that banks issue usance documentary credits available by deferred payment as an alternative to availability by acceptance of a draft, unless there is a specific commercial, regulatory or legal reason to create a banker's acceptance. 


With respect to the query, it was concluded that under the circumstances mentioned in the Query, and expanded upon in the Analysis, only one draft was required for presentation. 


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