Banking & finance

Banking Commission approves document on international standard banking practice

  • 27 April 2007

By a unanimous vote of 71-0, the ICC Commission on Banking Technique and Practice approved an updated version of its widely acclaimed publication, International Standard Banking Practice for the Examination of Documents under Documentary Credits (ISBP). The voting took place at the commission’s meeting in Singapore yesterday.

The ISBP is a checklist of items document examiners need to check for in their review of documents presented under letters of credit.

First approved in 2002, the ISBP was welcomed as a crucial supplement to Uniform Customs and Practices (UCP), ICC’s universally-used rules on documentary credits. By detailing the specifics of documentary credit operations – such as how to sign bills of lading, the key features of insurance documents and how to handle misspellings or typing errors – the ISBP filled a gap between the general rules of the UCP and the daily job of the letter of credit practitioner.

The 2002 version of the ISBP supplemented UCP 500, as the ICC rules were known at that time. But when the UCP was revised in 2006, it became necessary to update the ISBP to align it with the new rules, now called UCP 600. The revised UCP will enter into force on 1 July 2007.

Though much of the ISBP remains unchanged, certain adjustments have been made in the 2007 version. Amendments include:

removing paragraphs of the former ISBP that have now been incorporated into UCP 600;
making certain technical adjustments in grammar, punctuation, etc.; and
revising sections of the ISBP that were no longer valid in the new UCP.

ICC advises practitioners to have the updated ISBP at hand when UCP 600 comes into effect.

The final version of the revised ISBP, ICC Publication 681, is scheduled for release in the next several weeks. Practitioners are advised to check the ICC bookstore website, for information on availability.