Users' Handbook for Documentary Credits under UCP 600

Users' Handbook for Documentary Credits under UCP 600

Foreword by Donald R. Smith

This is a handbook to introduce documentary credits (also known as “letters of credit”) to sellers and buyers (commercial parties) who seek to increase their access to cross-border markets. Above all, it is an introduction. It does not make readers experts on documentary credit transactions. Rather, it strives to demonstrate the way commercial parties and bankers have used this remarkable commercial device, the documentary credit, to achieve their objectives.

As this handbook demonstrates again and again, documentary credit transactions are document driven. An essential part of this remarkable story are the efforts of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and its Commission on Banking Technique and Practice (the “Banking Commission”) to develop practical rules for those documents. These practical rules are the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP). The current version of those rules, implemented on July 1, 2007, is UCP 600. UCP 600 appears as an appendix to this handbook, which refers to UCP articles throughout.

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