• Non-documentary requirements


    It is a common occurrence for documentary credits to contain instructions that are not expressly attached to a document that needs to be tendered. However, if for example the credit stipulates shipment on a vessel of a particular class, but does not require the tender of a classification certificate, then under UCP 600 the bank is under no obligation to inquire as to the age of the vessel named in the bill of lading. This means that if a buyer is particularly anxious to ensure that payment is only made if the bank is satisfied, say, that the vessel carries a particular classification, he should:

    • Stipulate in the sale contract for the tender of a copy of the classification certificate under the letter of credit; and
    • Stipulate for the tender of the same document in the letter of credit.

    Only thus can the buyer ensure, first, that the seller cannot complain that the letter of credit requires more documents than does the sale contract and, secondly, that the seller will only be paid on tender of a conforming classification certificate. The seller on the other hand needs to consider, when agreeing the terms of the contract, whether he will be in a position to satisfy the obligation the buyer is seeking to impose upon him. For example, how easy will it be for him in fact to get hold of a copy of such a classification certificate?

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