Coastline newsletter / 2006 edition

ISSUE 4 Oct2006

ICC Opinions shape the UCP revision - Part 2

By Gary Collyer

In the September edition of this newsletter we covered the issues pertaining to UCP 500 Articles 9, 13 and 14. Here, we focus on the remaining four articles - 21, 23, 37 and 48 - and look at some of the issues raised in those 58% of Opinions and whether they have had any bearing on the content of the final text of the UCP 600. The text of which is currently with the National Committees of the ICC for their consideration and voting at the ICC Banking Commission meeting on October 25, 2006.

The issues in relation to Articles 21, 23, 37 and 48 were:

UCP 500 Article 21 - Unspecified Issuers or Contents of Documents
(UCP 600 Article 14 - Standard for Examination of Documents)

1. A re-emphasis of the need to state the content of documents as opposed to an expectation of what a document will or should include as data. For example, a requirement for an "inspection certificate" does not prohibit a bank from accepting such a document that includes derogatory remarks as to the underlying goods.

2. Re-wording of the article to emphasise the meaning of "data content is not inconsistent".

3. The handling of non-transport documents (i.e. those not covered by articles 23-29) under this article.

4. Whether dating of documents after the shipment date was a discrepancy.

5. The difference in consignee information between a transport document and other documents that contain a 'consignee' field.

6. The title of documents - need to be same as the L/C, no title or similar (but covering the intention of the L/C).

Taking each of these points in turn:


1. This is a basic principle in the issuance of LCs and is not necessarily a feature of a set of rules.

2. Sub-article 14(d) replaces the existing text to provide a different and, hopefully, clearer perspective. The principle is that the data need not be a mirror image; merely that it not conflict with other data. The drafting group sought agreement that banks need not review data between documents but this was rejected by the ICC National Committees.

3,5 & 6. These are principles covered by ISBP.

4. Sub-article 14(i) emphasises that a document may bear any date up to its date of presentation.

UCP 500 Article 23 - Marine/Ocean Bill of Lading
(UCP 600 Article 20 - Bill of Lading)

1. Cover bills of lading issued via the internet.

2. Issues raised through Position Paper No.4 in relation to carrier name and signing.

3. Ports of loading in L/C appearing as place of receipt on B/L and how to make acceptable under UCP.

4. Ports of discharge in L/C appearing as place of final destination on B/L and how to make acceptable under UCP.

5. CY AND CFS to be considered same place as port of loading?

6. What is deemed to be the bill of lading date?

7. Allowance of on board date being before or after the date of issuance of the B/L.

8. The authentication of alterations being allowed by any number of agents.

9. Emphasise that non-negotiable copies need not be signed, authenticated etc.

10. Reference to application of Article 43 only applying in cases where original B/L's presented.

11. The use of ranges of ports or geographical areas and requirements for port of loading and discharge details.

Again, taking each of these in turn:


1. Provided the bill of lading meets the condition of UCP 600 article 20 then it matters not the manner in which the BL was created.

2. It should be noted that the ICC Position Papers #1-4 were in respect of UCP 500 and have no effect under UCP 600.

3. This is covered in sub-article 20(a)(iii).

4, 5, 8 & 9. These are covered by ISBP.

6. The bill of lading date is the on board date.

7. This is covered in sub-article 20(a)(ii).

10. This is covered in sub-article 14(c).

11. This is covered in UCP 600 but only in respect of Charter Party Bills of Lading (sub-article 22(a)(iii).

UCP 500 Article 37 - Commercial Invoices
(UCP 600 Article 18 - Commercial Invoice)

1. Emphasis that the goods description need not be exact, but one that corresponds. Provide clarity as to 'corresponds'.

2. The use of a shortened goods description in the invoice where the credit covers more than one type of goods and only one type is shipped.

3. The need (or not) for inclusion of Incoterm.

4. The need for address of applicant or beneficiary to be exactly as per L/C and does this include fax, phone, email details?

5. Issues relating to advertising material and free of charge goods.

6. Description of goods on other documents - could be corresponding, general or no description.

7. The use of additional information in goods description that goes beyond that in L/C.


1. The principle and text is that which is in UCP 500. It is felt that the UCP wording coupled with the ISBP text on invoices is sufficient.

2. This remains covered in ISBP.

3. This is not a UCP issue but one for issuing banks to consider in the construction of their LC.

4. This is covered in sub-article 14(j). Addresses may be different provided they are in the same country as the beneficiary or applicant.

5 & 7. This remains covered in ISBP.

6. This is covered in sub-article 14(e).

UCP 500 Article 48 - Transferable Credit
(UCP 600 Article 38 - Transferable Credits)

This article was the subject of numerous opinions and resulted in the issuance of an ICC document entitled Transferable Credits and the UCP 500.

** ** This document is available from the ICC website -


This article has been re-drafted to reflect the main issues raised in the various opinions given under UCP 500 Article 48 including, adding confirmation to the transferred credit, documents being sent to the transferring bank, definition of terms and refinement on the requirements for notifying amendments.


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