UCP comparison Part 4 - Invoice and Insurance


Article 18 - Invoice

The content of UCP 82 included two articles related to invoices. Article 32 stated that invoices must be made out in the name of the principal (purchaser) or any other name as designated by the principal. Article 33 went on to indicate that in order to determine the quality of the goods, banks may refer to the content of the invoice which should correspond with that stipulated in the credit. It was further stated that a generic description of the goods would be acceptable in shipping or insurance documents.

A number of key changes were made in UCP 151. Article 32 provided a recognisable change in that an invoice must be made out in the name of the applicant. It was further stated that payment of such invoices could be refused if the amount of the invoice was in excess of that stated in the credit. Article 33 would also be very recognisable to practitioners today with the stipulation that the description of goods in the invoice must correspond with that described in the credit. In other documents, a description in general terms would be acceptable.

For UCP 222, these changes were consolidated into article 30, the main differentiator being the addition of the words ‘Unless otherwise specified'.

UCP 290 article 32 left the content virtually unchanged apart from dividing the article into three sub-articles.

The premise of sub-articles continued with UCP 400, article 41, with the words ‘Unless otherwise specified' changing to ‘Unless otherwise stipulated'. In addition, it was stated that if a bank did accept an invoice for an amount in excess of that permitted by the credit, its decision would be binding on all parties provided it did not actually pay the excess amount.

UCP 500, article 37, introduced the concept of the invoice appearing on its face to have been issued by the beneficiary. Furthermore, a major clarification was that invoices did not need to be signed.

The only major change in UCP 600, article 18, came with a new sub-article stating that an invoice must be made out in the same currency as the credit.


Article 28 - Insurance

UCP 82 provided four articles with provisions for insurance documents. Article 28 clarified that either Insurance Policies or Insurance Certificates could be accepted provided that they were issued by insurance companies or their agents, or by underwriters or brokers. The minimum value of insurance was addressed in article 29, with the statement that it should be the C.I.F. value of the goods insofar as such an amount could be checked, but in no case less than the amount of settlement or the amount of the invoice, if that was higher. Article 30 highlighted that if no instructions were provided as to the risks to be covered, banks would accept insurance documents as tendered provided that they covered the goods against ‘transport risks'. The final insurance article, article 31, pointed out that when a credit stipulated a requirement for an ‘All Risks' insurance, banks could not be held responsible if any particular risk was not covered.

UCP 151 introduced a few updates. Article 28 added the proviso that insurance documents, unless otherwise specified, must be issued in the currency of the credit and that banks could refuse an insurance document if it were dated later than the date of the shipping document. Article 30 was expanded to cover credits that merely stipulated ‘usual' or ‘customary' risks. Finally, article 31 added a new paragraph stating that when a credit provided for insurance ‘with particular average'; banks could accept an insurance document indicating that such particular average is subject to a franchise.

The insurance articles were extended to six in UCP 222, articles 24-29. It was now stated that insurance documents must be as specifically described in the credit and could only be issued / signed by insurance companies or their agents or by underwriters. Broker-issued cover notes would not be acceptable. In the event that the CIF value of the goods was not known, the minimum amount of insurance was slightly amended to be the higher of the amount of the drawing under the credit or the amount of the invoice. It was now expressly stipulated that credits must state the type of insurance required and the additional risks to be covered. Terms such as ‘usual risks' and ‘customary risks' were no longer to be used. The stipulation in a credit for ‘insurance against all risks' now allowed acceptance of an insurance document that contained any ‘all risks' clause.

Within UCP 290 articles 26-31, the provision for insurance cover being evidenced as no later than the date of shipment now took account of combined transport documents. The provision that insurance documents indicating cover subject to a franchise was further extended to be applicable to cover subject to an excess (deductible).

UCP 400 cut the number of insurance articles to five, 35-39. The key change came in article 37 wherein the minimum amount of insurance cover was amended to be the CIF/CIP value plus 10%.

The number of insurance articles was again cut in UCP 500, on this occasion to three, articles 34-36. Article 34 articulated that if an insurance document indicated that it had been issued in more than one original, all the originals must be presented. The minimum amount of insurance cover, if the CIF value was not determinable, was stated as 110% of the amount claimed or 110% of the gross amount of the invoice, whichever was the greater.

UCP 600 has managed to enshrine all the insurance requirements into one article, article 28. Signing of an insurance document now extends not only to an insurance policy or certificate, but also to a, open cover declaration. A proxy can also make such signing. Any signing by an agent or proxy must also indicate the party on behalf of which such signature has been given.  It is now explicitly stated that the insurance document must indicate the amount of insurance coverage. A revised sub-article states that any requirement in a credit for insurance cover to be for a percentage of the value of the goods is considered to be the minimum amount required. It must now be possible to determine that insurance cover is valid from the place of taking in charge to the place of destination as defined in the credit.  The final major change is a provision that insurance documents may contain a reference to any exclusion clause.

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