The problem is the people. The solution is the people

It never stops to amaze me how the human mind works. Take as an example the ISBP 745. The purpose of this publication is to guide the LC community about how to do things right – of course with the hope that the number of discrepant presentations will decrease – i.e. that the LC will serve its purpose: to facilitate the payment for goods or services between a buyer and a seller.


The making of ISBP 745 has been an enormous task – and we now have 298 paragraphs to aid in that process. ISBP 681 had “only” 185 paragraphs.

In each of these 298 paragraphs great effort and care has been placed in offering good guidance and good examples: the good banking practice; so if ISBP is being followed then there is a fair chance that things will work smoothly.


With that in mind it should be simple: go out there and use time to promote the ISBP; do ISBP training; implement the principles of the ISBP. That is where the focus should be.


However – from my chair this is not exactly what is happening. I receive so many questions; that claim to be ISBP questions but is not. These questions touch upon the borderline situations … they take the ISBP content one step further; and the twist it a bit. One recent example is this:


A bill of lading is presented. It includes a “pre printed on board notation.” In the field where the ocean vessel is mentioned the word “intended” has been ^Delete^d by means of a correction. In this case what kind of on board notation is required? And secondly: what if the “correction” has not be done correctly?


To me this is NOT an ISBP question. This is NOT covered by ISBP 745. If one read the on board requirements in the ISBP 745 there are plenty of good ways to comply with UCP 600 article 20(a)(ii). If the beneficiary and the shipping line were well acquainted with UCP 600 and ISBP 745 then this situation will never arise.


To me ISBP 745 is a cornucopia of fantastic and relevant knowledge captured in one place. Take it! Use it! Train it! Promote it! Do not waste in finding the holes in the cheese. This will only add confusion to the content of the publication.


It is my opinion that the majority of LC related problems are not there because of the LC as an instrument. They are there because of the people that (mis)use it. Therefore the one main thing that can solve the LC problems, is for the people that use it to start acting in a better – more mature way. One way is to use more energy in promoting the good practice laid out in the ISBP 745.


The above being said, I accept fully that crazy things happen (!!) – so sometimes one must address the “stupid” “far out” questions – but do not do so under the cover of it being an ISBP issue when it is not. And if this is merely for academic purposes, then let it go and use your time better:


And by the way – I just learned that ISBP 745 has been published.

Go get it! Use it! Train it! Promote it!


Have a great weekend and take care of each other and the LC!





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