Article 14d UCP 600 for Letters of Credits

The rules that apply to Letters of Credit are known collectively as UCP 600.  However, there are challenges with some of the rules (also known as articles).

When the Uniform Terms and Conditions for Documentary Credits were revised in 2006 under Publication No. 600 (UCP 600), one of the objectives of the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) Commission on Banking Technique and Practice was to make Documentary Credits more “user-friendly” by allowing a degree of leeway with regards to minor differences in wording across documentation.  They devised a number of articles, such as Article 14 d, to address this problem.

The background to this intention was that a number of world wide surveys, before 2006, indicated that nearly 70% of all Documentary Credit presentations were rejected on first presentation due to errors, a problem compounded by the fact that all banks now charge a fee for discrepancy presentations.  This became a serious problem when a number of underlying discrepancies were found to be dubious or unsound.  So the Board revising the terms and conditions came up with a series of agreements.

In Article 14 d, for example, it states that the data in a document, when read in context with the credit, the document itself and international standard banking practice, need not be identical to, but must not conflict with, data in that document, any other stipulated document or the credit.

At the time I was rather dubious about this article.  Since then I have become convinced that, as far as the documentary checking departments of banks are concerned, Article 14 d may as well not exist, since every single bank I deal with are insisting that data in all documents must be identical to all other documents as well as the credit itself.  If not, then they will see it as a discrepancy and will treat it as such.

So it is now as important as it was before 2006, that every full stop is in the right place, that a semi-colon is not replaced with a comma, that mis-spellings are adhered to and that all documents are in exact conformity with each other.

In a way I do actually find this rather comforting, since this was the system I had been taught when I first started completing documents for Documentary Credit presentations.  But, it still makes Documentary Credit presentations as complicated and intricate as before the inception of UCP 600, and I do wonder if this system will ever change, or ever be allowed to change, regardless of the intentions of the ICC.

Maria Narancic from Point to Point Export Services is an independent international trade adviser who assists organisations world wide with their international trade projects, documentation, Documentary Credits and import/export training.  She is based in the United Kingdom.  If you require any further assistance with the matters mentioned above, please do contact us by e-mail on or check out other useful articles on exporting on our website


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