A Documentary Letter of Credit (DLC) or At Sight Letter of Credit (Sight LC) is a financial instrument, issued by banks or trade finance institutions through a SWIFT MT700 message, where seller/exporters receive payment from the buyer/importer, once the terms specified in the DLC are completely fulfilled.
Documentary Letters of Credits (DLC) are mostly used in international business transactions, where the buyer/exporter and seller/importer have yet to build a close business relationship and/or are located in different countries.
There are the following forms of letter of credit:
Revocable Letters of Credit, which can be changed or canceled by the issuing bank without prior notice to the recipient of funds. Revoke of letter of credit does not create any obligation of the issuing bank to the payee.
Nominated bank is obligated to make a payment or other operations on a revocable letter of credit, if at the time of their commission they have not received notice of the change of conditions or canceling credit. A letter of credit is revocable if its text does not explicitly state otherwise.
Irrevocable Letter of Credit is a firm obligation of the issuing bank to pay money in order and the terms defined by the conditions of the letter of credit, if the documents provided for by it, submitted to the bank specified in the credit. Irrevocable letter of credit guarantees that the exporter will make payment to the performance of its obligations, even if an importer wants to abandon the deal. Therefore, exporter, performing a special order, for which most likely will not be another buyer, chooses exactly this kind of letter of credit.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LC & SBLC:
Key difference: The ‘Letter of Credit’ and the ‘StandBy Letter of Credit’ are two legal bank documents that are used by international traders. Both these letters are used to ensure the financial safety between the supplier and their buyers. And, SBLC is a type of LC that is used when there is a contingent upon the performance of the buyer and this letter is available with the seller to prove the buyer’s non-performance during the sale.
LC and SBLC are the two financial instruments that are meant to safeguard the financial interests of the international traders i.e. buyers and sellers. It simply means that both these terms are widely useful while making transaction between the two trading parties. These help in giving financial security to both the parties. Also, these contracts are produced in good faith and in both the cases the fund gets mobilized.
During a transaction, the buyer wants an assurance of receiving his product or merchandise on time, and the seller wants his security of being paid on time at the completion of the job. Here, a letter of credit is issued, for it is an assurance or a type of guarantee that the seller will receive his correct payments in time by the clients. The LC solves both the issues by bringing in the buyer’s and seller’s banks into the transaction.