We have focused on this in the past but have noted recent references to such a possibility in social media and trade articles.
The response is, in fact, fairly straightforward:
- UCP 600 article 1 states that the UCP are rules that apply to any documentary credit.
- ISBP 745 Preliminary Considerations (ii) states that the practices within ISBP highlight how the articles of UCP 600 are to be interpreted and applied.
The publications are separate but also synonymous:
- The introduction to UCP 600 states that during the revision process, notice was taken of the considerable work that had been completed in creating ISBP and that ISBP had evolved into a necessary companion to the UCP for determining compliance of documents with the terms of the letter of credit.
- The introduction to ISBP 745 states that it and the UCP should be read in their entirety and not in isolation, a comment that is reinforced in ISBP 745 Preliminary Considerations (i), which states that the publication is to be read in conjunction with UCP 600.
The key issue to remember is that, in the event of non-compliance, rules must have a consequence; otherwise the action is a practice. And therein lies the basic differential: rules vs. practice.
One point worth noting is that 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.
But ... never say never ... it may be worth considering a joint practice / rules publication one day in the future. However, the format and content would require careful attention.