ICC Digital Library

Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits


In keeping with the ICC policy of staying abreast of changes in international commerce, the ICC Banking Commission initiated a revision of Uniform Rules for Collections in March 1993, and these revised rules represent the work of the ICC Working Party entrusted with the revision project since that time.

The revised rules, which come into effect on 1 January, 1996, replace the Uniform Rules for Collections, ICC publication N°322, in force since January 1979. There is a separate new ICC publication, N°550, containing a comprehensive commentary covering relevant discussions that took place during the revision process. The commentary, which is intended to give guidance on practical issues and to provide an insight into the thinking of the Working Party, is not meant to replace the rules in any way.

The objectives of the Working Party were to review changes in international collection procedures, technology, and laws and regulations both national and international since 1979. Similarly, issues that continue to cause problems to practitioners were to be examined to see the extent to which the revision could assist in their resolution.

Additionally, the text and language of UCP 500 were to be examined in order to achieve a degree of harmonisation within the revision.

In the course of its work over the last two years, the Working Party examined approximately 2,500 comments from over 30 countries. In certain cases, such as in considering of Electronic Data Interchange, the Working Party felt that uncertainty on legal issues precluded any attempt to draft rules to cover this aspect at the present time.

Similarly, while the importance of local practices and requirements in certain countries were fully appreciated by the Working Party, it was considered unwise to draft rules to cover such practices and requirements, as they might not be acceptable to the rest of the international community.

In considering an extensive range of views and comments, the Working Party had considerable difficulty in evaluating some of them, and, where conflicting views were expressed, the Working Party adopted the point of view closest to, and most consistent with, accepted international practice.

The Working Party, in achieving its objectives, did not seek to make change for the sake of change and often left the wording of the old rules substantially unchanged. Changes were made only in response to altered practices and requirements and to resolve practical difficulties encountered by practitioners.

I list below in alphabetical order the members of the Working Party:

JUNEID M. BAJUNEID Assistant Manager Trade Services,

the National Commercial Bank, Jeddah

CARLO DI NINNI Documentary Credit Department,

Associazione Bancaria Italiana, Rome

STEFAN DRASZCYK Former Head of Division, International Chamber of Commerce, Paris

BERND HOFFMANN Direktor, Trinkaus & Burkhardt KGaA, Düsseldorf

ROB F. LANTING Senior Manager, Documentary Trade Department, ING Bank, Amsterdam

PETER OSTWALD Vice President, Trade Finance Department, Nordbanken, Gothenburge Finance Department,

PAUL C. RUSSO Vice President, United States Council for International Banking, New York

SIA CHEE-HONG Vice President Bills and Remittances,

Overseas Union Bank Ltd, Singapore


International Chamber of Commerce, Paris

The undersigned had the pleasure of chairing the Working Party.

As Chairman, I extend my deep appreciation to the ICC National Committees, the Banking Commission and the individual members of the Working Party. It was through the generous contribution of their time and the sharing of their knowledge that this revision was accomplished so successfully. I also wish to convey the gratitude of the ICC for their selfless commitment to this work.


Chairman, ICC Working Party on Collections

Former Manager Services, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd, London

Chairman, British Bankers' Association Trade Facilitation Group, 1992-1994