Presentation of documents

A freely negotiable LC with the expiry date on the 01st of December, 2007. Beneficiary presents the documents to his bank in his country on 30th of November 2007. The documents are not negotiated but instead redirected to the issuing Bank by courier service and reached the issuing Bank on the 05th of December, 2007.

Is the LC deemed to be expired? Is it a discrepancy?

One participant from India suggested that it is a discrepancy because the LC reached the Issuing Bank after the 01st of December, 2007.

Article 2 of UCP600 states that “presentation means either the delivery of documents under a credit to the issuing bank or nominated bank or the documents so delivered”.

In layman term, the beneficiary has the option, either to send the documents to his bank or to the issuing bank if the issuing bank is also in his country. In the case where trading parties domicile within the same country or within the same vicinity, the beneficiary may send the documents directly to the issuing bank. For example, the LC is issued by Maybank, in Kuala Lumpur that is the buyer’s bank and the seller is also in Kuala Lumpur where he maintains an account with Stanchart which also in Kuala Lumpur. The beneficiary may either send the documents directly to the issuing bank, that is Maybank or he may also send the said documents to his bank that is Stanchart. When the documents reached the counter either one of these banks, he is said to have made a ‘presentation’ and therefore, he owes no further obligation as far as presentation is concerned.

Article 6(d)(i) of UCP 600 clearly states that “…an expiry date stated for honour or negotiation will be deemed to be an expiry date for presentation…” Article 6(d)(ii) further states “…the place for presentation under a credit available with any bank is that of any bank…”

From this point onwards, responsibility shifts to the nominated bank to examine the documents to determine whether or not the documents comply with other terms and conditions of the LC. It may take 1 day, 2 days or more but not to exceed 5 banking days.

To escape refusal by bank, the beneficiary must also ensure that the documents reach the bank within the validity of the presentation period which is within the expiry date of the LC.

Upon receipt of the said documents from the nominated bank, the issuing bank must first establish the date on which the presentation was made at the nominated bank. This is only a matter of checking the date on the covering schedule provided for by the nominated bank. The date indicated on the covering schedule is deemed to be the date on which the presentation is made at the nominated bank. This is the routine process in checking the documents by banks. If the indicated date is before the expiry of the LC, it is not a discrepancy.

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