Singapore ICC Opinions are out
The ICC have just published the ICC Opinions approved at their meeting end April in Singapore.
Most if those are (of course) somewhat similar to the draft opinion. Many have been cleaned up - and that for the good.
For example TA820rev where the analysis has been changed a lot - and no longer suggests that an amendment is rejected if it is not used in the presentation. That is good - and correct.
Two of the new ICC Opinions – in their final versions – are however very troublesome:
First of all TA814rev which deals with an LC issued in USD - and the invoice simply referred to the currency using a $-sign. In the draft Opinion this was considered a discrepancy. At the meeting in Singapore this was changed; I.e. Reversed 180 degrees. I was there and I specifically remember Neil Chantry say that it will be so that unless the presentation specifically indicates that it is a currency different from US$ (like Singapore dollar) - then it is NOT a discrepancy.
I can subscribe to that view!
And so it seemed could the majority of the NCs in the room.
It seems however that the technical advisers could NOT subscribe to that: the analysis in the revised final Opinion looks nothing like what was agreed at the meeting.
In fact I am not even sure I understand the analysis.
I simply need to quote part of it here:
Field 32B of a SWIFT MT700 contains the currency code and amount of the credit, and as per SWIFT network validation rules, it must be a valid ISO 4217 currency code. It appears that the credit was issued with the currency code „USD‟. The currency was stated in the first beneficiary‟s invoice as „$‟. Both UCP 600 and ISBP 745 specify that an invoice must be in the same currency as the credit. This pre-supposes that the currency code utilised in the invoice can be recognised and can be directly related to that stated in the credit. The „$‟ sign is used to indicate the dollar unit of a currency, but can be applied to the currency of any country that utilises the dollar as a currency. Unless the issuer of the invoice is in a country that uses the dollar as a unit of currency or one which uses the dollar sign as a generic symbol for its currency the use of the sign $ instead of the ISO code USD does not indicate non-compliance with sub-article 18 a. iii. UCP600.
Somehow I get what they are trying to say BUT:
1: this is clearly outside the mandate given by the Commission at the meeting. If the technical advisers - for some reason - felt that what was agreed was wrong, they should have sent it out for a new round of comments from the NCs.
2: the above analysis is written so unclear and sloppy that it can only lead to confusion. (I dare not even summarise what they are trying to say).
Frankly I think this is a disgrace - and the ICC Opinion need be revised to reflect what was actually agreed at the meeting; or send out for a new found of comments.
The second ICC Opinion that calls for more words are TA817rev. I have discussed this before - most thoroughly here:
And also here:
Now the final Opinion is here. The conclusion has not changed; it is still a discrepancy.
However again the Analysis calls for confusion and wonder. It includes the following:
FCL stands for „Full Container Load‟ and relates to the usage of space in a container and that the container has been loaded by the shipper.
„CY/CY stands for „Container Yard / Container Yard‟ and relates to the receipt of a full container at the location of the shipper‟s premises and delivery by the carrier to the consignee‟s premises.‟
UCP 600 sub-article 14 (d) specifically relates to international standard banking practice. Common knowledge of abovementioned terms would not generally be considered as an element of such practice.
The credit required explicit reference to FCL container, as such, the bill of lading should provide specific reference to FCL rather than other terms such as CY/CY.
So what they are saying is that:
* The LC calls for "shipment in FCL container." FCL means full container load.
* CY/CY “relates to the receipt of a full container.”
• However, this is not something that the document examiner need to know - for what reason the bill of lading is discrepant.
Wouww - if the aim is to distance the LC totally from the rest of the world - then this Opinion surely is helpful!
My personal view is that this Opinion is wrong - very wrong: This is clearly the same thing. The analysis even states that! But what can I say: damage done ....
Enough of that.
Reviews of all ICC Opinions subject to UCP 600 (including the latest ones - like mentioned above) and URDG 758 are available in lcviews premium.
Take care of each other and the LC.
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