Many of you would have come across the term Letter of Credit (L/C)..
If you are a shipping line, you would have heard this term from various customers asking you to expedite the draft bill of lading for checking by the bank or for the release of the bill of lading to be expedited because the shipment is under L/C..
If you a freight forwarder or agent, you may have been put under pressure by the BCO to get all the documents required by the L/C sent to them in time..
If you are a BCO, you may have been told by your bank that the documents submitted do not match the requirements of the L/C and some of the documentation may need to be redone..
So what exactly is a Letter of Credit, what is the need for a letter of credit, who issues it and how does it work..
To the casual onlooker, signing a bill of lading may be a routine, day to day mundane job done by many people across the world.. But the fact is that there are several technicalities to be considered before signing a bill of lading..
It is important to understand that the person signing the bill of lading acknowledges the details recorded on the bill of lading.. Any bill of lading signed with the knowledge of misrepresented facts may be considered to be a fraudulent document and may result in legal consequences for the signatory..
If you are a bill of lading signatory, here are 8 points that you need to consider before signing a bill of lading.. It may be a bit of a long read, but worth it.. 🙂
A reader asked me a question about letter of credit and trade finance timelines..
With a letter of credit. What sort of timings are usually connected to when the payment between banks occurs? Does the shipment sail prior to the LC being satisfied?
This is actually is a very good question – and the answer usually is: “it depends..” Kim Sindberg provides below comprehensive response on what it actually depends on and the relevant rules applicable..
Do banks verify if cargo is actually loaded on a ship..??
Shippers who deal with documentary credit know that the term Shipped on Board carries quite a bit of weight and there is often a lot of discussions, disputes, rejections etc from the side of the bank if there is any discrepancy in the shipped on board clause or date or stamp or signature..
So one would naturally assume that the banks verify if the cargo covered in the bill of lading is actually loaded on board the ship or not..