Trade & investment

ICC issues recommendations to shed light on requirements for on board notation

  • 18 August 2010

In response to recurrent requests for ICC opinions on the subject, ICC has published recommendations to help clarify requirements, and to guide banks in the correct interpretation and application of the ICC Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP) in relation to on board notations.

Prepared by the ICC Commission on Banking Technique and Practice and approved on 27 July, the paper, Recommendations of the Banking Commission in respect of the requirements for an On Board Notation, brings together different forms of issuance of bills of lading, sea waybills, charter party bills of lading and multimodal or combined transport documents. It also indicates when an on board notation is required and the requirements for that on board notation in any given circumstance.

The contents of the recommendation paper do not amend the ICC publications UCP 600 or International Standard Banking Practice (ISBP). The content of the paper will however become part of the new version of ISBP currently being drafted by ICC.

It is recognized that there may be circumstances where banks and their customers may be in dispute over the acceptability of an on board notation appearing on a bill of lading, sea waybill, charter party bill of lading or multimodal transport document.

“The recommendations can be brought into such discussions to either justify or refute any discrepancies,” said Banking Commission Officer and Chair of the ICC Drafting Group on the revision of the ISBP Gary Collyer “In these circumstances refusal would be based upon compliance of the document with the terms and conditions of the credit and the applicable article of UCP 600.This paper will merely endorse the correct practice in respect of on board notations.”

The ICC recommendation paper features a user-friendly flowchart to illustrate when an on board notation is required and the form that it is to take. It also includes background information on the requirements of UCP and ISBP and the basis for how the conclusions have been drawn.

The recommendations are the result of many months of work by the UCP 600 Drafting Group and ICC national committees who provided valuable input to the drafting process.