Steps in An Import Letter of Credit Transaction

Steps in An Import Letter of Credit Transaction :

The Sales Contract

The sales contract is the formal agreement between the buyer and seller specifying the terms of sale that both parties have agreed upon. The contract should include: a description of the goods; the amount; the unit price. The terms of delivery; the time allowed for shipment and presentation of documents; the currency; and the method of payment.

Application & Agreement

The bank’s letter of credit application and agreement forms, when executed, constitute a payment and reimbursement contract between the issuing bank and its customer. It is also the customer’s instruction to the issuing bank. The letter of credit must be issued exactly in accordance with the customer’s instructions. Therefore, it is important that the application be completed fully and accurately, so as to avoid the inconvenience of having to have the letter of credit amended. The agreement constitutes an undertaking by the customer to reimburse the issuing bank for drawings paid in accordance with the terms of the letter of credit, and normally takes the form of an authorization to debit the customer’s account.

Issuance of the Letter of Credit

The issuing bank prepares the letter of credit as specified in the application and forwards it by tele-transmission or airmail to the advising bank, (a branch or correspondent of the issuing bank). The issuing bank instructs the advising bank as to whether or not to add its confirmation, as per their customer’s instructions.


The advising bank forwards the letter of credit to the beneficiary (seller) stating that no commitment is conveyed on its part. However, if the advising bank has been asked to confirm the letter of credit and agrees to do so, it will incorporate a clause undertaking to honor the beneficiary’s drafts, provided the documents evidence that all terms and conditions of the letter of credit have been complied with.

Steps in An Import Letter of Credit Transaction