Reasons for Discrepant Presentations for LCs


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Successfully obtaining payment through a Letter of Credit is achieved by submitting documents which conform to the wording and terms of the Credit and in accordance with UCP 600 rules (if the Credit is subject to these rules).

Submitting conforming documents is achieved by ensuring, from the start, that it is possible to obtain those documents, in the quantity, format and wording required under the Credit.  Which means that it must be possible to precisely undertake those actions, which generate the documents, which are presented without error to obtain payment.

Yet something in the region of 60-75% of all Letter of Credit presentations are incorrect (discrepant) on first presentation.  Sometimes it can take a number of attempts to submit correct documents.  Each time a discrepant presentation is made, a charge is levied by the bank, so making mistakes can end up being costly.  So what can go wrong?  According to the 2015 ICC Trade Survey the areas where problems causing discrepancies can happen are as follows.

  1. Conflict of Data (between documents submitted under the Credit)
  2. Missing Documents
  3. Late Presentation
  4. Late Shipment
  5. Letter of Credit has expired
  6. Unauthenticated alterations
  7. Missing endorsements
  8. Goods description not as per Letter of Credit
  9. Port of Loading or Port of Destination incorrect
  10. Insurance Certificates dated later than the date of shipment
  11. On Board notations (on Bills of Lading) missing or incomplete

The conflict of data is a major problem.  Interestingly, something in the region of 60% of all discrepancies relating to conflict of data is related to information which is not required to be on the documents in the first place.  However, the banks still need to check this information, because they would not know if it is relevant or not.  Therefore, by only including information on the documents which is required either by terms in the Credit, for legal and/or Customs purposes or as part of the contractual agreement between buyer and seller, beneficiaries can reduce the number of errors possible.


Part of this series of articles is to highlight different strategies to ensure that presentations are compliant, but a good start is to ensure that the strategy of not adding information to a document that is not required, is followed at all times.

This is the tenth article in the series on Getting paid with Letters of Credit. Please do check out the other articles in this series.

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 to access other articles on International Trade matters please do check out our website at

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