What Does Latest Date of Shipment and Expiry Date Mean in a Letter of Credit?

There are two important dates that exist in a letter of credit transaction: The first one is the latest date of shipment and the second one is the expiry date.

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On this post, you can find explanations regarding the latest date of shipment and expiry date.

If a letter of credit requests presentation of a transport document and a latest date of shipment indicated in the credit; then the shipment must be completed on or before the latest date of shipment indicated in the credit.

If a letter of credit requests presentation of a transport document but not indicated a latest date of shipment; then the shipment and the presentation must be completed on or before the expiry date indicated in the credit.

According to the letter of credit rules, 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.

Latest Date of Shipment:

  • Latest date of shipment is an optional information and not every letter of credit issued in swift format contains a latest date of shipment.
  • Latest date of shipment can be meaningful only if the letter of credit requests presentation of a transport document. No transport document, no meaning of the latest date of shipment.
  • If the letter of credit indicates a latest date of shipment, then the beneficiary has to complete the shipment of goods on or before this date.
  • The beneficiary has to present a transport document showing a shipment date on or before the latest date of shipment in order to prove his compliance with the latest date of shipment.
  • If the beneficiary presents a transport document showing a shipment date later than the latest date of shipment, then the issuing bank raises a “late shipment discrepancy“.

Expiry Date :

  • The beneficiary has to present the documents to nominated bank on or before the expiry date of the l/c.
  • If the beneficiary can not make the presentation on time, the letter of credit will be terminated and will not be valid any more.
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