Using documentary credits when you export goods or services means that the importer's bank commits itself to paying you when the conditions of the credit have been met. This offers a number of advantages:


  • Payment guaranteed by the importer's bank prior to shipment
  • Enhanced security of payment at the agreed time
  • Enhanced security that the order received will not be cancelled or changed without your agreement
  • Improved liquidity as payment often can be made shortly after shipment
  • Possibility of extending security to subcontractors through the documentary credit
  • The possibility of financing

It is important to note that the importer's bank will make payment only after you have complied with all its requirements and conditions. You should therefore examine the documentary credit carefully when you receive it.

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When you receive a documentary credit, you should examine it carefully, following the checklist below. You may want to involve the company employees responsible for:

  • Closing the deal
  • Ensuring that the goods are ready for shipment on time
  • Preparing the documents
  • Arranging transport


Documentary credit checklist

  • Is the text clear and unambiguous?
  • Are the terms and conditions the same as those you agreed on with your customer?
  • Is the documentary credit issued by an acceptable bank?
  • Is the documentary credit subject to the international rules for documentary credits ?
  • Can you comply fully with ALL the requirements?
  • Are all the expressions in the documentary credit clear and unambiguous?
  • Does the documentary credit contain contradictory requirements?
  • Can the time limits for shipment and presentation of documents be met?
  • Are the insurance requirements, if any, acceptable?
  • Are the requirements for transport and transport documents acceptable?
  • Is partial delivery or transhipment allowed, if needed?
  • Are your name and address shown exactly as they appear in your documents?
  • Are the buyer's name and address shown correctly?
  • Is the description of goods the same as in all the other documents?

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Trade & Export Finance products and services

Read More about our trade & export finance products and services in these booklets (PDF):

Download factsheet on Documentary Credits
Download factsheet on Int'l Guarantees
Download factsheet on Collections
Download factsheet on Business Online

To read PDF documents, download Adobe Reader®

Document Checklist
What to look out for in every document involved in the documentary credit process:

Danske Bank A/S, London Branch, 75 King William Street, London EC4N 7DT, United Kingdom. Telephone: +44 (0)20 7410 8000 Facsimile: +44 (0)20 7410 8001 E-mail: london.info@uk.danskebank.com. VAT number: 853 7590 92. Danske Bank A/S, London Branch is authorised by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finanstilsynet) and is subject to limited regulation by the the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Complaints should be addressed to our Legal Department. Details on the extent of our regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority are available from us on request. Registered Branch in England and Wales, Company No. FC011846, Branch No. BR000080. Danske Bank A/S, Incorporated in Denmark, CVR No. 61 12 62 28 Copenhagen. Our details can also be viewed on The Financial Services Register under Firm Reference Number 124655.

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