New approved ICC Opinions April 2019


Five Opinions were approved during the ICC Banking Commission meeting in Beijing, China, in April 2019.




 A credit stipulated that all documents were to be issued in English, whilst providing a condition that documents in languages other than English would be acceptable provided that the text of the document was also in English language.


The issuing bank stated that a presented invoice did not appear to have been issued by the beneficiary and raised this as a discrepancy. As counter-argument, the nominated bank contended that, in view of the fact that the beneficiary name was stated in Chinese language within a stamp on the invoice, this rendered the document compliant in accordance with ISBP 745 paragraph A21 (e).


However, it was concluded that this was an erroneous argument because the credit required any non-English text within a document to also be written in the English language. The discrepancy was perceived as valid. 




A credit was issued requiring presentation of a performance bond issued either by a reputable Vietnamese bank or an international bank with a branch office in Vietnam. 


Subsequently, a performance bond was issued by a bank in London and advised to the beneficiary via its branch in Vietnam.  As the guarantee document itself did not specifically state that the issuing bank had a branch office in Vietnam, the question was raised as to whether or not this was acceptable. 


In actual fact, there was no specific requirement in the credit for such a statement. Provided that the issuing bank had a branch in Vietnam, this would be sufficient. It was concluded that no discrepancy existed. 




The originator of the query highlighted that they had received a number of credits including clauses that could be interpreted as modifying UCP 600 sub-article 16 (c) (iii) (b).


It was stated within the analysis that the referenced clauses did not imply that documents would be released to anyone other than the presenter without honour occurring. As clearly specified in UCP 600, in the event of an issuing bank accepting a waiver from an applicant, or an issuing bank withdrawing its refusal notice, prior to the receipt of any further handling instructions from the presenter, the issuing bank must honour. At that stage, it can then release the documents to the applicant.




A credit was issued requiring presentation of a photocopy of a EUR1 certificate. The confirming bank refused the presented document on the basis that the consignee was inconsistent with that stated on the bill of lading. The bill of lading was consigned to order of the confirming bank whereas the EUR1 certificate stated ‘to order' within the consignee field.


 As stated in the analysis, the consignee field on such a certificate is not only optional, but also does not contain the same inference as it does so when stated on a bill of lading. 


It was further observed that inclusion on the EUR1 certificate of ‘to order' as consignee does not create any conflict under UCP 600. The discrepancy was not considered to be valid. 




 An issuing bank refused documents presented under a credit subject to UCP 600 on the basis that the signing capacity within the bill of lading was not specified. 


The bill of lading was signed by "ROH on behalf of HAP - the Carrier".


UCP 600 sub-article 20 (a) (i) requires a bill of lading to indicate that the signing party is acting in the capacity as an agent. This was not the case with this particular bill of lading and the bill of lading was therefore observed to be discrepant. 


A further issue in respect of discrepancy fees and messaging costs was considered as outside the scope of UCP 600.




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