A wrong being fixed!
In previous blog-posts I have discussed ICC Opinion TA.814. It seems to be a never ending story … and just this week a new chapter was written. A mail dropped in from the ICC With the following text:
Based on feedback received, it has been drawn to our attention that the final versions of Opinions TA.814rev and TA.820rev are not exactly in line with the wording agreed at the Singapore ICC Banking Commission meeting in April 2015. Accordingly both Opinions are now withdrawn.
Revised versions are attached for comment by ICC National Committees.
ICC Opinion TA.814 deals with the following scenario:
32B (Currency Code, Amount): USD (amount).
46A (Documents Required): SIGNED COMMERCIAL INVOICE IN 3 ORIGINALS
The invoice referred to the currency by usage of a dollar sign („$‟) (only).
“COMMERCIAL INVOICE ... CURRENCY IS NOT SPECIFIED”
And so the good question is if this is a valid refusal.
When the ICC Draft Opinions was circulated it was! The take from the ICC was (TA814):
Unless it can be identified from elsewhere in the invoice that „$‟ relates to United States Dollars, the symbol „$‟ cannot be stated as definitely relating to USD. The „$‟ 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.
At the ICC Banking Commission meeting in Singapore April 2015 this query attracted much attention. The result was TA814rev. This was a bit hard to read. In my “translation” it says:
1: IF the invoice issuer is in a country that uses Dollar or the Dollar-sign ($) then it is NOT acceptable to only state “$” for USD.
2: IF the invoice issuer is NOT in a country that uses Dollar or the Dollar-sign ($) then it is acceptable to only state “$” for USD.
As described in my previous blog post, this was simply not what was agreed at the Singapore meeting. Apparently a number of NC’s had the same view; for what reason the ICC had decided to circulate TA814rev2 for comments. Here the view is turned 180 degrees compared to the Draft Opinion, i.e.:
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 also refer to a currency other than USD.
Comments from the NC are requested latest 18 September – so sometimes after that date we will know what the “final” answer is. We will keep you posted.
However; TA814 also included another issue; namely this scenario:
FULL SET 3/3 ORIGINAL NEGOTIABLE CLEAN ON BOARD OCEAN BILL OF LADING, BLANK ENDORSED ...
The bill of lading showed the name of applicant in the consignee field, and was not endorsed.
DOCUMENTS OF TRANSPORT ... WRONG CONSIGNED. CONSIGNED TO (applicant's name) INSTEAD OF 'TO THE ORDER', NOT ENDORSED.
The question is if this is a valid discrepancy?
Here the conclusion has NOT changed: “The discrepancy mentioned by the issuing bank is valid.”
However; the (new) analysis reads as follows:
The credit required that the bill of lading be blank endorsed. Such a requirement means that the bill of lading be issued ‘to order’ or ‘to order of the shipper’ and blank endorsed by the shipper.
A bill of lading that is straight consigned to the applicant cannot be endorsed.
Also here we will know the “final” answer after 18 September – and we will keep you posted!
As mentioned in the beginning TA814rev was not the only ICC Opinions being withdrawn. The same applies to TA820rev. The Opinion describes an “amendment scenario”; I.e. when an amendment is deemed accepted. The changes made are mostly “technical” – i.e. some changes have been made where the original text was a bit imprecise.
These cases are really interesting. I do not recall a situation where 2 Final ICC Opinions (covering 3 issuers) has been withdrawn right after their circulation; and a new text has been submitted for comments at the NCs. The good thing in all of this is however that the ICC Banking Commission is fixing a wrong!
In any case ….
The withdrawal of those two ICC Opinions has been noted in lcviews premium – and it will be updated again once the final texts are available.
All for now – just for info & take care of each other and the LC.
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