Negocios

Strict Compliance y document checker

Ordenante y beneficiario pueden evitar algunos problemas

  • Xavier Fornt, 5 de Noviembre de 2020
  • 4 mins de lectura
Strict Compliance
Foto: Pixabay (7515461)

Los que habitualmente trabajan con créditos documentarios o garantías a primer requerimiento saben que, con frecuencia, se dan controversias derivadas de interpretaciones restrictivas de las Reglas, lo que se conoce como la strict compliance. Como dirían los romanos, “dura lex, sed lex”.

Este fenómeno es tan relevante que incluso la Banking Commission de CCI publicó un position paper que comienza  reconociendo “The issue of ‘strict compliance’ has continually surfaced with respect to the examination of documents presented under documentary credits. Over the last couple of years, several discussions have been generated on Internet forums and in trade finance journals in respect of the interpretation and application of this doctrine. This has also been reflected in the challenging discussions behind numerous ICC Official Opinions.

Las controversias se producen por los artículos 14 en las UCP 600 para créditos documentarios y 19 en las URDG para las garantías.

UCP 600 Art. 14 Standard for Examination of Documents
a. A nominated bank acting on its nomination, a confirming bank, if any, and the issuing bank must examine a presentation to determine, on the basis of the documents alone, whether or not the documents appear on their face to constitute a complying presentation.

b. A nominated bank acting on its nomination, a confirming bank, if any, and the issuing bank shall each have a maximum of five banking days following the day of presentation to determine if a presentation is complying. This period is not curtailed or otherwise affected by the occurrence on or after the date of presentation of any expiry date or last day for presentation.

c. A presentation including one or more original transport documents subject to articles 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 or 25 must be made by or on behalf of the beneficiary not later than 21 calendar days after the date of shipment as described in these rules, but in any event not later than the expiry date of the credit. 

d. Data in a document, when read in context with the credit, the document itself and international standard banking practice, need not be identical to, but must not conflict with, data in that document, any other stipulated document or the credit. 

e. In documents other than the commercial invoice, the description of the goods, services or performance, if stated, may be in general terms not conflicting with their description in the credit. 

f. If a credit requires presentation of a document other than a transport document, insurance document or commercial invoice, without stipulating by whom the document is to be issued or its data content, banks will accept the document as presented if its content appears to fulfil the function of the required document and otherwise complies with sub-article 14 (d). 

g. A document presented but not required by the credit will be disregarded and may be returned to the presenter. 

h. If a credit contains a condition without stipulating the document to indicate compliance with the condition, banks will deem such condition as not stated and will disregard it. 

i. A document may be dated prior to the issuance date of the credit, but must not be dated later than its date of presentation. 

j. When the addresses of the beneficiary and the applicant appear in any stipulated document, they need not be the same as those stated in the credit or in any other stipulated document, but must be within the same country as the respective addresses mentioned in the credit. Contact details (telefax, telephone, email and the like) stated as part of the beneficiary’s and the applicant’s address will be disregarded. However, when the address and contact details of the applicant appear as part of the consignee or notify party details on a transport document subject to articles 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 or 25, they must be as stated in the credit. 

k. The shipper or consignor of the goods indicated on any document need not be the beneficiary of the credit. 

l. A transport document may be issued by any party other than a carrier, owner, master or charterer provided that the transport document meets the requirements of articles 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 or 24 of these rules. 

URDG 758 Art. 19 Examination
The guarantor shall determine, on the basis of a presentation alone, whether it appears on its face to be a complying presentation. 


a. Data in a document required by the guarantee shall be examined in context with that document, the guarantee and these rules. Data need not be identical to, but shall not conflict with, data in that document, any other required document or the guarantee. 

b. If the guarantee requires presentation of a document without stipulating whether it needs to be signed, by whom it is to be issued or signed, or its data content, then: 
i. the guarantor will accept the document as presented if its content appears to fulfil the function of the document required by the guarantee and otherwise complies with article 19 (b), and 
ii. if the document is signed, any signature will be accepted and no indication of name or position of the signatory is necessary. 


c. If a document that is not required by the guarantee or referred to in these rules is presented, it will be disregarded and may be returned to the presenter.The guarantor need not re-calculate a beneficiary’s calculations under a formula stated or referenced in a guarantee. 


d. The guarantor shall consider a requirement for a document to be legalised, visaed, certified or similar as satisfied by any signature, mark, stamp or label on the document which appears to satisfy that requirement. 


Los puntos más conflictivos y los que acarrean más problemas son los apartados d. y e. del artículo 14 de la UCP 600 y el apartado b. del artículo 19 de las URDG 758 y que, no debe sorprender, parecen calcados. La controversia se crea cuando los document checkers empiezan con sus interpretaciones de estas reglas, aunque no se les puede achacar toda la responsabilidad, porque ordenante y beneficiario, tanto en créditos documentarios como en garantías a primer requerimiento, pueden hacer mucho para evitar estos problemas de interpretación.

El papel de los ordenantes

Los ordenantes deben preparar los documentos necesarios de forma muy concreta y con previsión de los futuros problemas: tener claro quién es el emisor, el contenido exacto… Evitar la ambigüedad facilita mucho todo el proceso.

Veamos un ejemplo: un importador sabe que en su país es necesario que la partida arancelaria conste en el cuerpo del certificado fitosanitario para el despacho de aduana. Si se limita a solicitar dicho certificado en la carta de crédito, corre el riesgo que el exportador presente un certificado sin el número de partida arancelaria; y, por muy estricto que sea el document checker, aun sabiendo que en su país es imprescindible que conste la partida arancelaria en el certificado, deberá dar por bueno el documento, en base al punto f. del artículo 14.

El papel de los beneficiarios

Los beneficiarios deben cumplimentar todo lo requerido en el crédito o la garantía para poder ejercer su derecho al cobro. Y si lo que se pide es un texto o contenido muy concreto, deben ajustarse a él, con independencia de que les parezca más o menos lógico.

Veamos un ejemplo: un exportador que recibe una garantía en la que se le solicita que en la demanda consten el nombre y dirección del deudor, número y fecha de las facturas impagadas y que presenta una demanda donde está toda la información excepto la dirección del deudor, puede tener problemas si el document checker, aplicando el punto b. del artículo 19 de las URDG 758, considera que la ausencia de la dirección entra en conflicto con lo solicitado.

Si ordenante y beneficiario ponen de su parte y cumple con todos los requerimientos, evitarán los problemas derivados de la strict compliance y harán la vida más fácil a los document checkers en beneficio de todos.

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