This request referred to a requirement in a credit for the presentation of a Certificate of Origin. The presented document had no letterhead, header or footer and only stated "We certify that the goods are of French origin." The document was signed by the beneficiary.
The issuing bank refused the presentation on the basis that the Certificate of Origin did not provide any details of the goods to which the certification was being made.
ISBP Publication 681, paragraph 183 states that a certificate of origin must appear to relate to the invoiced goods. However, there is no such rule in UCP 600 and the ISBP are not a set of rules. Some ICC National Committees questioned under which article of UCP 600 could a bank refuse a document issued in this manner.
The ICC Banking Commission concluded that the document did not fulfil its function, as required by UCP 600 sub-article 14 (f), as it did not refer to the goods to which the certification of origin applied. Such indication of a relationship with the goods could be made by a goods description being added to the document, that corresponds with that stated in the credit, or one that is given in general terms. It could also be through the addition of a reference to the invoice number, the number of the respective transport document or reference to data that is contained in any of those documents.
The conclusion stated that the discrepancy was valid.
See opinion R727 (TA.747rev) for the full transcript of the above.
This emphasises the need for a beneficiary to be aware of the content of the ISBP 745, not only in the context of what banks will be looking for in a document but also what is possible from the viewpoint of the preparation of any type of document under a documentary credit.