ISBP: An Introduction


Gary Collyer (as Chair) and David Meynell were members of the ISBP Revision Working Group.

It is important to note that ISBP does not amend UCP 600. It explains how practices articulated in UCP 600 are to be applied by documentary credit practitioners. ISBP and the UCP should be read in their entirety and not in isolation.

The incorporation of ISBP into the terms of a documentary credit is inappropriate, as the requirement to follow agreed practices is implicit in UCP 600.

Applied correctly, ISBP helps reduce the large percentage of documents refused for discrepancies on first presentation.


  • Standard Banking Practices for the Examination of Documents (SBPED) - standard banking practices: US Council on International Banking / Mexican Bankers Association - issued in 1997
  • ISBP 645 published in 2003
  • ISBP 681 released 2007 to bring it in line with UCP 600: much of the ISBP text remained unchanged although certain alterations had to be made.
  • ISBP 745 - Approval on 17th April 2013. Note that there was no release or implementation date. If a publication, such as ISBP 745, explains how to apply the rules in UCP 600 and the practices that prevail thereunder, it does not have an implementation date that is post the date of approval.


  • Outlines standard practice globally, based on worldwide feedback from ICC National Committees
  • An intelligent checklist of procedures for document checkers to follow in examining documents presented under LC's
  • Created to help reduce the large percentage of documents refused for discrepancies on first presentation
  • Explanation of how practices articulated in UCP 600 are applied by documentary practitioners
  • Provides a framework under which a beneficiary may prepare its documents to a certain standard that can be accepted on a global basis.


  • Preliminary Considerations
  • General Principles
  • Drafts and Calculation of Maturity Date
  • Invoices
  • Transport Document covering at least two different modes of transport (Multimodal or combined transport Document)
  • Bill of Lading
  • Non-negotiable Sea Waybill
  • Charter Party Bill of Lading
  • Air Transport Document
  • Road, Rail or Inland Waterway Transport Documents
  • Insurance Document and Coverage
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Packing List, Note or Slip (Packing List)
  • Weight List, Note or Slip (Weight List)
  • Beneficiary's Certificate
  • Analysis, Inspection, Health, Phytosanitary, Quantity, Quality and Other Certificates (Certificate)


The future of ISBP

ISBP should be a continually evolving and expanding collection of practices. The ISBP Working Group stressed that as most of the documented practices derived from approved ICC opinions, the ICC needs to find a way whereby such practices can be highlighted to all banks, as soon as the Banking Commission approves them.

There also needs to be a process whereby additional practices can be raised by national committees on a regular basis for discussion and approval, rather than waiting for a revision of the publication to occur.

An in-depth analysis of ISBP is available within our training modules.

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