Wednesday, September 20, 2017


I am sure one can easily recall the following lines from the popular musical The Sound of Music:
“How do you solve a problem like Maria?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?”
Replace ‘Maria’ with issues like negotiation, pre-payment, drafts, shipment date – you name it – and you may feel like I do about some of the provisions in the UCP. This article is an attempt to make sense out of a very live issue, that of availability and expiry under Article 6 of UCP 600.

Sub-articles 6(a) & 6(d)
Sub-article 6(a) states, “A credit must state the bank with which it is available or whether it is available with any bank. A credit available with a nominated bank is also available with the issuing bank.”
Sub-article 6(d)(i) reads as follows, “A credit must state an expiry date for presentation. An expiry date stated for honour or negotiation will be deemed to be an expiry date for presentation.” Note that this sub-article calls for only the date of expiry, not the place of expiry of a credit.
Sub-article 6(d)(ii) states, “The place of the bank with which the credit is available is the place for presentation[3].  (contd...)

[This article is continued in the book 'Beyond Trade Finance', published on 13-Apr-2021 by Notion Press, and available at or at]

[1] Published in LCM-Trade Services Update, Volume 12, Issue 3, May–June 2010.
[2] Former managing director, Fina Bank Ltd., Nairobi, Kenya and TransAfrica Bank Ltd., Kampala, Uganda. Website:; e-mail:
[3] That should be self-evident! If a beneficiary turns up at Timbuktu to present documents under a credit available with a bank in Hong Kong, something got to be wrong with the beneficiary, for sure.
[4] I’d thought that would be pretty obvious too, but anyway….!
[5] Frequently asked questions on UCP 600, Suggested Answer to question no. 6.29, Gary Collyer.
[6] Frequently asked questions on UCP 600, Suggested Answer to question no. 6.27, Gary Collyer.
[7] Ibid
[8] Shades of My family and other animals by Gerald Durrell, perhaps?
[9] DC Insight, Vol. 16, January-March 2010. Haluk Erdemol is a member of the ICC Banking Commission and ICC’s Turkish National Committee.
[10] Source: Question no. 6.38, Frequently asked questions on UCP 600, Gary Collyer.
[11] SWIFT UCP 600 Usage Guidelines, Exceptional update to achieve alignment, Published on 12 January 2007, S.W.I.F.T. SCRL ("SWIFT"), Belgium.
[12] From All I want is a room somewhere, Rodger and Hammerstein, My Fair Lady.

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