UCP Gaps


We have mentioned on numerous occasions in the past that we do not - currently - support a revision of UCP 600. 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").


Such approach was supported during the ICC Banking Commission meeting held in Jakarta in April 2017, which consolidated the results of a consultation with ICC National Committees.


However, that does not mean that there are no existing gaps in the UCP. What it does mean is that any such gaps are not currently sufficient to amount to a rational justification for undertaking the huge exercise of revising the UCP.


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.



Whilst we are on the subject of revisions, the below may be worthy of consideration for a future update of ISBP 745. 


  • ISBP to incorporate any relevant recently approved ICC Opinions, and to be issued and updated regularly. Not an easy task and one that would require careful preparation and a detailed outline on how such an updated publication would be disseminated, but it could provide significant benefit.






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