Back in early 2017, during the ICC Banking Commission meeting in Jakarta, and based upon consultation with ICC National Committees, it was agreed that a revision of UCP 600 was not required.
We have mentioned on numerous occasions in the past that this was also our conclusion. Our belief is that most problems lie not with the rules themselves but with their application, i.e., practice of the rules ("international standard banking practice").
Having said that, we are aware that the UCP does contain certain gaps.
As a matter of record, below are a few of the issues that could be addressed, at a future indeterminate date, when the UCP is eventually revised.
- ISBP 745 paragraph A3, concerning the signing of certificates, certifications, declaration or statements is more equivalent to a rule rather than a practice. There is no existing article in UCP 600 addressing this issue. ISBP 745 paragraphs P1 and L1 also stipulate the requirement for a signature on various certificates.
- ISBP 745 paragraph A21 (b), (d), (e) regarding language are also much closer to a rule than a practice. UCP 600 does not currently regulate the language of documents even though this is a very important issue. These paragraphs, rephrased, could become part of a revised UCP.Paragraph A21 (e) would require amendment if it was to be considered as a rule.
- We could see great benefit in rephrasing ISBP 745 paragraph A31 (original and copy documents) and subsequently incorporating it as an element of a revised UCP (Original Documents and Copies, currently UCP 600 article 17).
- ISBP 745 paragraph A35 (d), regarding authentication via URL, is definitely more akin to a rule and could certainly be recommended for incorporation within a revision of UCP. It would naturally fit within the signature requirement stated in UCP 600 article 3, thereby amending/enhancing the interpretation of ‘electronic method of authentication'. Although very few documents are issued in this way, this may well change in the future.
- It is arguable that ISBP 745 paragraph C12, which addresses over-shipment and goods not called for in a credit, is also a rule. It could well become part of a revised UCP not only with regard to an invoice, but all documents required under a credit because if, for example, a bill of lading or weight list shows over-shipment or goods not called for in the credit, it would also not be acceptable.
- ISBP 745 paragraph K9, expiry date for insurance claims, is also a worthy item for consideration to convert to a rule. If so, it could amend the current UCP 600 article 28.
- Consideration could be given to inclusion of a definition for ‘all documents'. Whilst this has been the subject of a number of Opinions, we could certainly see benefit for incorporation within the UCP itself.
However, having considered this in great depth, we remain of the opinion that the totality of the above still does not provide an adequate business case, nor is currently sufficient, to amount to a rational justification for undertaking the huge exercise of revising the UCP.
Refer to the below which highlights the practical considerations: