ICC Document & publication

The determination of an Original document in the context of UCP 500 sub-Article 20(b)

Based upon the comments received from ICC national committees, members of the ICC Banking Commission and other interested parties, the statements in clauses 3 and 4 reflect international standard banking practice in the correct interpretation of UCP 500 sub-Article 20(b).

Over a period of several years there have been a number of queries raised with the ICC Banking Commission as to the determination, by banks, of what is an “original” document under a letter of credit and the necessity, if any, for such a document to be so marked.

For ease of reference the text of sub-Article 20(b) reads:

  • “Unless otherwise stipulated in the Credit, banks will also accept as an original document(s), a document(s) produced or appearing to have been produced
  • by reprographic, automated or computerized systems
  • as carbon copies;

provided that it is marked as original and, where necessary, appears to be signed.

A document may be signed by handwriting, by facsimile signature, by perforated signature, by stamp, by symbol, or by any other mechanical or electronic method of authentication.”