Update on developing e-compliance in ICC rules: eUCP & eURC – part 2/2


Following our previous Blog on this subject, we continue to review some of the issues raised with the eUCP/eURC revision/drafting process.


Include the effectiveness and legality of electronic signatures?

  • The term 'electronic signature' means a data process attached to, or logically associated with, an electronic record and executed or adopted by a person in order to identify that person and to indicate that person's authentication ofthe electronic record.

‘Effectiveness and legality' cannot be issues for the rules, but will be reliant on local and national/regional practice.


Should there be a definition of ‘notice of completeness'?

  • The eUCP does not dictate the form of the notice of completeness beyond minimal requirements.
  • Although it is not necessary that an eUCP credit contain an express requirement of a notice of completeness, an issuer should seriously consider so requiring it by stating that a notice of completeness must be given when the presentation is complete and that examination will not begin until that time.
  • The concept is very similar to that in URBPO whereby a Data Match can only occur when all related data has been submitted.

Until practice evolves, there is no common standard: no definition to be included.


Why is ‘commercially acceptable data process' referenced in Article e13 (Disclaimer)?

  • Any bank that engages in these types of transaction is responsible for maintaining a commercially acceptable data processing system.
  • The responsibility is a fundamental pre-condition for using the e-Rules.
  • A bank cannot excuse itself from responsibility for the failure to authenticate electronic records due to errors or inadequacies in its systems where those systems are not commercially acceptable.

This formulation also imposes on banks that engage in processing e-transactions the task of upgrading their systems to keep them current.


In today's environment, is 30 days too long, after notice of refusal, to return any paper documents?

  • The time for examination of documents under the eUCP does not commence until the notice of completeness is received, as stated in sub-article e8 (a) (i).
  • Article e8 does not contain any special rules for giving notice of refusal and the procedure outlined in UCP 600 article 16 applies (documents may be returned at any time).

30 calendar days is considered to be a ‘reasonable period' to complete the required action.


Will the treatment of amendments have to be reviewed in a digital world?

  • Evolving practice will decide the most valid approach. At this stage, amendments should remain covered in UCP 600.
  • The position in UCP 600 is that amendments must be accepted or rejected. (Note: ICC Opinion R634 / TA638rev: "a presentation that is not impacted by an as yet unaccepted amendment does not constitute acceptance of the amendment by the beneficiary.")
  • URBPO requires the agreement of each Involved Bank for acceptance of amendments

Data processing systems should, at a minimum, reflect current accepted practice.


Is it correct that the term ‘traditional paper document' be used?

  • A paper document means a document in the traditional sense.
  • The term ‘paper document' within the eUCP refers to a document in a paper medium, i.e., the type of document that is presented under UCP 600.
  • By broadening the meaning of the term ‘document' as it is used in UCP 600 and the definition in eUCP, it became necessary to identify another term that permitted the distinction between paper and electronic documents for the eUCP. The term ‘paper document' was chosen because it aptly and implicitly describes the traditional medium in which data was inscribed.

To be retained in the existing format.


Is the concept of originality an irrelevance with electronic records and virtually without meaning?

  • While some of the facets of originality can be resolved in an equivalent fashion in the electronic world, originality itself loses much of its meaning.
  • Since transactions sometimes require originals, it would be difficult to abolish the requirement.
  • Rather than attempting to do so, this article takes the approach of functional equivalency, providing that any such requirement is satisfied by the presentment of a required electronic record.

To be retained in the existing format.


The eUCP are rarely used, so is there a practical value?

  • It is considered to be essential that the ICC evaluate rules such as eUCP in order to ensure that they are ‘e-compliant', i.e., enabling banks to accept data vs. documents.
  • It is also important that the ICC remain abreast of technological developments and ensure that existing and new rules reflect practice.
  • In the context of the number of credits and collections handled, paper-based transport documents are the norm. However, platforms such as those provided by essDOCS and Bolero are facilitating transactions subject to eUCP and handling electronic documents under URC.

Guidance and intensive marketing will accompany the release of the updated rules.


Can we introduce a single ISBP for UCP & eUCP?

  • In the long run, this would be preferable.
  • Such a publication will provide guidance to practitioners.

At this stage, there is no standard practice. As practice evolves, this will, inevitably, lead to drafting of such a publication.



Next Steps

  • March 2018: updated drafts of eUCP & eURC were sent to National Committees, accompanied by a detailed response to all the issues that have been raised in the original round of comments.
  • Feedback has been requested by 25 May 2018.
  • Pursuant to such feedback, and in the event that it is recognised that no further drafting is required, final drafts of eUCP and eURC will be sent to National Committees together with a detailed response to any raised issues.
  • The intent would be to seek formal approval by the time of the meeting in Georgia (15-17 October 2018) - the exact process is still to be decided.
  • Should further drafts be required and the update process is still incomplete, then the aim will be to finalise by the time of the Spring 2019 meeting.



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