ICC Banking Commission Final Opinions April 2022







A presentation of documents was refused by a confirming bank, under a credit subject to UCP 600, on the basis that the bill of lading was not signed in accordance with UCP 600 sub-article 20 (a) (i), to the extent that the agent was not clearly named and was not signing on behalf of the carrier.


The Analysis made referral to the content of UCP 600 sub-article 20 (a) (i), whilst highlighting that this is supported by ISBP 745 paragraph E5 (c).


For this particular query, there was no doubt that the name of the carrier was stated. In addition, it was signed by a named agent for a named carrier. 


It was concluded that the bill of lading was appropriately signed and that no discrepancy existed. 




A credit issued subject to UCP 600 included a requirement for an insurance policy/certificate for 110% CIF value payable to the order of xxxx under Marine Institute Cargo Clause (A), Institute War Clauses (Cargo), Institute Strikes Clause (Cargo) and the stipulation that all claims are payable in place/country irrespective of percentage.


The presented document included a pre-printed statement beneath the line for a countersignature which stated that if there was a difference between the details on the printed insurance certificate and the details contained in the System Database, the information in the System Database shall be deemed correct. No further reference or explanation was provided in respect of the "System Database".


It was considered by the nominated bank that this statement constituted a discrepancy.


The Analysis referred to UCP 600 sub-article 14 (a), ISBP paragraph A35 (d), and ISBP 745 paragraph K22. 


Several key comments were made during the debate on this query, as summarised below:


  • Since the presented document is an insurance certificate, and it is assumed that it otherwise complied with article 28, then it is not correct to say that it does not fulfil its function as an insurance certificate.
  • In circumstances when an insurance certificate is based upon an open policy, that open policy is not examined by the banks; hence there could potentially be "conflicts" between the certificate and the policy. And it would be the policy that prevails.
  • Based on the content of sub-article 14 (a), and in relation to documents being examinedon their face, a reference in the insurance certificate to information in the System Database being deemed correct in the event of a difference to the printed certificate, must be disregarded by banks for the purposes of determining compliance of the document.
  • ICC Opinions reflect international standard banking practice and are not legal judgements.
  • It was noted that the role of a document examiner is not to read all of a document's terms and conditions and decide if potential pitfalls may occur.
  • The reference within this query to a "System Database" is to be disregardedas it is considered to be part of the general terms and conditions of the insurance certificate, for which ISBP 745 paragraph K22 states banks do not examine such data."


It was concluded that no discrepancy existed. 


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