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International Standard Banking Practice


The International Standard Banking Practice (ISBP), first approved by the ICC Banking Commission in 2002 (Publication 645), updated in 2007 (Publication 681), and again in 2013 (Publication 745), has developed into an invaluable aid to practitioners of documentary credits, on a global basis. ICC Banking Commission members and overall users of the rules have indicated the need for rules aligning with current trade finance practices and it would be appropriate to acknowledge that a major contributing factor has been the application of the practices detailed in the ISBP.

As announced at the Plenary Meeting in Paris on 20 October 2022, the Banking Commission SteerCo, in response to feedback from National Committees, established a Working Group in order to initiate a limited review of the ISBP 745.

The aim was to evaluate all ICC Opinions approved since the release of the ISBP 745 and to ensure that the ISBP were fully aligned with their content.

It should be noted that the ISBP 745 were approved by ICC National Committees in 2013, and the reviewed Opinions were approved by ICC National Committees between October 2013 and January 2023.

Therefore, this review merely ensured alignment between previously approved texts, and allowed for all relevant material to be contained in a single publication.

The outcome of the alignment review resulted in nine Opinions being recognised as containing content that would be meaningful for addition within the ISBP.

These are now included in the ISBP 821 and comprise:

• New Preliminary Consideration viii) stating that the absence of a credit number, or the mistyping of a credit number, on a document is not a valid reason for refusal. (Opinion 876rev)

• New Preliminary Consideration ix) providing that administrative conditions such as a requirement for an additional photocopy of all documents, or a statement that all documents may not be stapled, should not be incorporated by an issuing bank in a credit. (Opinion 915rev)

• Add ‘Industries’ to paragraph A1 (Abbreviations). (Opinion 837rev)

• Add new paragraph A17 (b) (Documents and the need for completion of a box, field or space) stating that there is no requirement for the applicant name, address and contact details (if any) to appear in a specific box, field or space on an invoice. (Opinion 818rev)

• Add new paragraph A31 (b) (copy documents) stating that copies of documents need not be signed and move existing A31 (b) to A31 (c). (Opinion 842rev3)

• Add new paragraph C7 (general issues relating to invoices) providing that an invoice presented under a credit issued in USD, bearing only the “$” sign without further qualification, fulfils the requirement of UCP 600 sub-article 18 (a) (iii) unless data in the invoice itself, or another presented document, implies that the “$” sign may refer to a currency other than USD. (Opinion 814rev4)

• Add new paragraphs D5 (e) (multimodal transport document), E5 (e) (bill of lading), & F4 (e) (non-negotiable sea waybill) stating that the signature of the master (captain) may be accompanied by a stamp that incorporates the name of the vessel. (Opinion 813)

• Add new paragraph G4 (c) (charter party bill of lading) stating that the signature of the master (captain) may be accompanied by a stamp that incorporates the name of the vessel. (Opinion 836rev)

• Add new paragraph K2 (b) stating that UCP 600 does not require that an agent or proxy is to be named in an insurance document and move existing paragraph K2 (b) to K2 (c). (Opinion 835rev)

Thanks are extended to the Working Group:

• Jon Boran, Lloyds Bank

• Christian Cazenove, Société Générale, ICC France

• Gary Collyer, Collyer Consulting

• Gabriele Katz, Deutsche Bank AG

• Glenn Ransier, Wells Fargo

• Kim Sindberg, Nordea

• Sharad Sinha, Standard Chartered Bank

• Eleonore Treu, ICC Austria

David Meynell
Senior Technical Adviser, ICC Banking Commission Chair, eRules Alignment Working Group
April 2023