Effect on Letter of Credit Performance Due to Outbreak of Covid-19 [Remote Online Learning]
The outbreak of the virus Covid-19 has a great impact on world trade, as it significantly slowdown the global economy. The national lockdown has caused airspace and borders to be closed and this has resulted in unprecedented disruption to most economies such as production, imports and exports, logistics, transportations and the various supply chain activities.
As for imports and exports, Covid-19 has not only affected the movement of goods worldwide, it has also affected the movement of documents such as Letter of Credit, export documents, and the various relevant documents pertaining to Letter of Credit of which it is governed by UCP600.
Since Covid-19 is an unexpected and unavoidable event, importers and exporters tend to insert certain sanction clause or force majeure clause in the sales contract/ agreement or even in the Letter of credit, which would excuses the parties from further performance of a contract upon occurrence of certain force majeure events, and thus leaving the Letter of Credit unpaid.
However, with certain measures to be taken by importers and exporters, the above situation can be curbed to a certain extent.
- To be familiar with the terminologies such as force majeure, financial sanction, political sanction, embargoes which challenge the fundamentals of Letter of Credit.
- To be able to take steps upon receipt of force majeure notice.
- To know the effect of sanction clauses affecting the banks.
- As a seller (beneficiary), what should you do?
- How to mitigate the risk of non-payment under LC due to the effect of sanction clause.
- Measures to be taken when banks cannot meet the obligation due to the unforeseeable event.
- To understand the various verdicts given by courts which handles imports and exports and Letters of Credit due to sanction clauses in Letters of Credit.
- To go for alternate solutions in delivery of documents i.e. go digital or electronic presentation. Applicable rules is eUCP (Supplement) 600 drafted by International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
1. Result in financial surge of sanctions, embargoes and force majeure in LCs.
2. What is force majeure?
3. Steps to take upon receipt of force majeure notice.
4. Letter of credit and the sanction clauses that may be encountered and difficulties that may arise:
- The bank is subject to sanction legislation.
- The bank and its internal policy not to pay.
- The bank may not pay if it believes that payment may be in breach of sanction legislation.
5. In what circumstances will a bank not honour a letter of credit?
6. Various court cases relating to LC.
7. As a seller (beneficiary), what should you do?
8. How to mitigate the risk of non-payment under LC because of the effect of a sanction clause.
9. When obligations cannot be met.
10. Due to Covid-19, there is difficulty in presenting paper documents. To overcome this - Go digital – electronic presentation of documents under eUCP (Supplement) 600.