International RulesInternational Rules

Documentary credits are subject to a set of international rules entitled Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP), ICC Publication No. 600.

The rules are monitored and enforced by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris and are used by most banks worldwide.

In May 2000, the ICC appointed a task force to streamline international banking practice for documentary credit practitioners when checking documents.

The resulting guidelines - International Standard Banking Practice for the Examination of Documents under Documentary Credits (ISBP) - were intended to reduce the number of documents being rejected dramatically by encouraging a uniformity of practice worldwide. The ISBP was approved in 2002 and most recently revised in 2013, making the documentary credit process easier and even more secure.

Standby letters of credit are usually subject to the same rules as commercial documentary credits (i.e. UCP 600). But a growing number of standby documentary credits are subject to a newer set of rules, known as ISP98, which deals solely with this type of documentary credit.

If your standby documentary credit is subject to ISP98, this must be shown in the documentary credit.

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