Supplier’s Credit – Meaning & Process

What is Supplier’s Credit ?

Supplier’s Credit is a structure of financing import into India. In this structure, overseas suppliers or financial institutions outside India provide financing to importer on Libor linked rates against usance letter of credit (LC).

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How to Endorse a Negotiable Bill of Lading ?

In the earlier articles we have discussed about documents required under letter of credit (LC) and how to prepare and submit compliant document.

In this article we will discuss about, what is Negotiable Bill of Lading, Why endorsement is required, who should endorse and what are the endorsements required.

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How to Check if Letter of Credit is Workable

In the earlier articles,  we have discussed about LC format MT700, and how to prepare and check documents under LC. This article provides a checklist for exporter after Letter of Credit (LC) is opened before shipment of goods. This will help exporter better understand the details in LC and whether exporter will be able to comply with its terms. If not, exporter should ask to get amendment in relevant clause.

Where ever possible exporter should ask for a draft copy of LC to check terms, so as to avoid amendments after LC is opened.

Exporter should look for below terms/clauses:

  1. Issuing Bank
    • Check name of issuing bank (swift code) and if its a trustworthy bank. How is the experience of others exporters in dealing with this issuing bank.
    • In case of financing requirement, check if exporter’s bank has lines of the issuing bank.
  2. Check all dates in LC
    1. Date of Issue (31C), Date of Expiry (31D) and Latest date of Shipment (44C):
    2. Check if  deadlines mentioned is acceptable. It is advisable to have margin in date of shipment and expiry to avoid requirement of amendment in LC.
    3. Verify the expiry location of the letter of credit. “Field 31D: Date and Place of Expiry” and “Field 41A: Available With … By …”. Both should be preferable in country of exporter.
  3. Presentation Period (48):
    • As per RBI Master Direction “Export of Goods and Services”, exporters are expected to present export documents within 21 days of shipment. Thus LC should preferably mention 21 days.
    • Incase of more than 21 days, banks may handle them  provided they are satisfied with the reasons for the delay. It is advisable to clarify the same with exporter’s bank.
  4. Name and Address of Beneficiary (59) and Applicant (50) are correctly stated.
  5. Description of Goods & Service (45A):
    • Complete description of goods
    • Units and Price
    • Mention of performa invoice or underlying contract should be avoided.
  6. Incoterms (45A):
    • Incoterms and shipment mode must match each other
    • If CIP or CIF incoterm is used, insurance document requirement to be mentioned in 46A.
  7. Insurance (46A)
    • Clause to be covered.
    • Where is the claim payable.
    • Insurance to cover from which point to which point.
  8. Currency and Amount (32B) in Letter of credit should match with sales contract
  9. Negotiation Clause (41A): Is LC restricted or available with any bank? Based on arrangement of exporter with existing bank or negotiating bank, it will help arrange pre shipment &/or post shipment finance.
  10. Payment Terms:
    • Is it available by sight payment, deferred payment, acceptance or negotiation. (41A)
    • Is the tenor stated correctly, number of days from sight or date of invoice, transport document etc. (42C)
  11. Documents Required (46A):
    • List of documents required
    • Number of original and copy required.
    • Type of transport documents required.
    • Type of Insurance documents required.
    • Clause requiring applicant documents : LC should avoid clauses requiring documents that are to be issued, signed or countersigned by the applicant.
    • Beneficiary Certificate: Such clause can be avoided.
  12. Non Documentary Conditions (47A).
    • All documents to require LC number can be avoided.
    • Check if any clause of UCP600 has been excluded or not. If excluded, understand its impact on exporter.
  13. Port of Loading (44E) and Port of Discharge (44F):
    • Advisable to mention Port of loading as Any Port in India (exporter country)
    • Port of discharge is consistent with sales contract.
  14. Letter of Credit Charges (71B):
    • Understand and determine which fees must be paid by the exporter according to the letter of credit conditions.
    • “Courier Fee / Postage Fee”, “Advising Fee”, “Discrepancy Fee”, “Handling Fee / Negotiation Fee”, “Amendment Commission”, “Confirmation Fee”, “Reimbursing Bank Charges”.
  15. Partial Shipments (43P): Whether it is allowed or not and whether the same is as per sales contract
  16. Transhipments (43T):  Preferable, it should be allowed.
  17. Reimbursement Instructions (53A)
  18. Confirmation Status (49): Is it confirmed LC or has an option for adding confirmation and who will bare the cost of the same. This field will have these three options: Confirmed, Without, May Add. If case where the LC is already confirmed where is confirming bank located.

Above is not a comprehensive list. Depending on type of goods exported and countries to which it is exported, requirement of clauses and document may differ.

If you do not understand or have any queries in any of the above clauses or terms, you can get in touch with us.

Reference

  1. RBI Master Direction: Export of Goods and Services

Buyers Credit Against Standby Letter of Credit (SBLC)

Post RBI disallowed LOU and LOC for buyers credit transactions, importers and banks are trying different structures which can assist in  Import finance. Some of these structures are

  1. Suppliers Credit
  2. Buyers Credit Against SBLC (Standby Letter of Credit)
  3. Reimbursement Finance (Usance LC Reimbursement at Sight)

This article is about Buyers Credit Against Standby Letter of Credit (SBLC), its meaning, process flow, documents required, costing, applicable rules, issues with the current structure and what should importer do to avail it.

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Revised Guidelines for Trade Credit

RBI revised Foreign Exchange Management (Borrowing and Lending) Regulations, 2018 on December 17, 2018 (link in reference). Revision is made to ECB guidelines, Trade Credit, borrowing by banks outside India and others.

This articles covers changes made to Trade Credit guidelines.

Continue reading Revised Guidelines for Trade Credit

Reimbursement Finance (Usance LC Reimbursement at Sight)

Post RBI disallowed LOU and LOC for buyers credit transactions, importers and banks are trying different structures which can assist in  Import finance. Some of these structures are

  1. Suppliers Credit
  2. Buyers Credit Against SBLC (Standby Letter of Credit)
  3. Reimbursement Finance (Usance LC Reimbursement at Sight)

Continue reading Reimbursement Finance (Usance LC Reimbursement at Sight)

Guidelines on Early Delivery, Extension & Cancellation of Forward Contract

Forward contract being an agreement to exchange currencies at a future date, it is likely that sometimes the customer may be unable to adhere to the contracted delivery schedule or the underlying transaction may itself get modified or cancelled. The importer/exporter may, therefore, in these cases request for

  1. Early delivery
  2. Cancellation

Continue reading Guidelines on Early Delivery, Extension & Cancellation of Forward Contract

How to Prepare and Check Letter of Credit Documents

Purpose of Letter of credit (“LC”) is to give payment security to the beneficiary subject to documents presented under the LC complying with the requirements of the LC.

To check if documents are compliant, banks examine the required documents based on:

  • The terms and conditions of the documentary credit.
  • The applicable rules of UCP 600.
  • The applicable content of ISBP 745.

Continue reading How to Prepare and Check Letter of Credit Documents

Buyers Credit Outstanding Down by $25 Billion

Since RBI Stopped Buyers Credit Transactions against LOU and LOC, few questions kept on coming up regularly

  1. What was the outstanding amount of buyers credit in overseas branches of Indian Bank as RBI data did not provide bifurcation products wise ?
  2. What is the run down in books of these bank since 13 March 2018 RBI Circular ?
  3. What is its impact on Libor based finance available to Indian importers ?

In this article we have provided the data and analysis which will answer the first two questions.

Continue reading Buyers Credit Outstanding Down by $25 Billion

Why are Indian Banks Closing Overseas Branches ?

Indian Banks have closed 37 Overseas branches till date and another 60 – 70 branches are under review. This article gives an overall summary of Indian banks presence internationally, reason for reducing number of branches and bankwise update on branches closed or in process of closing.

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LoU/ LoC should be restored with proper safeguards: Standing Committee Report

Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce Chaired by Shri Naresh Gujral, presented it report on 06 August 2018 on “Impact of Banking Misappropriation on Trade and Industry

The report extensively covers  RBI Ban on LOU / LOC and its impact on the Industry and committee’s recommendations. In summary,  Committee  has recommends that LoU/ LoC should be restored at the earliest albeit with proper safeguards.”

Continue reading LoU/ LoC should be restored with proper safeguards: Standing Committee Report

Letter of Credit Clauses Related to Suppliers Credit

Supplier’s Credit is a structure of financing Import into India. In this structure, overseas suppliers or financial institutions outside India provide financing to importer on Libor linked rates against Usance letter of credit (LC). Supplier’s credit internationally is also known as Usance Payable at Sight (UPAS) structure.

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Letter of Credit – MT 700 Format

Earlier article “Types of Swift Message used in Letter of Credit and Suppliers Credit” discussed details related to Category 7 message. This article further explore MT700 used for Letter of Credit Issuance. This will help importers understand various fields in MT700, related UCP 600 reference etc.

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Types of SWIFT Message used in Letter of Credit and Suppliers Credit

SWIFT system is used for Bank to Bank communication and Bank to Corporate communication. There are different type of Swift messages format related to specific purpose. This article focuses on Category 7 message.

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Major changes in ITR 1 (Sahaj) for AY 2018-19

Income Tax Return Form – 1 (Sahaj) is applicable to only Resident Individuals having Incomes from Salaries or Pension, One House property, Other sources and having total income upto Rs. 50 lakhs.  The new ITR-1 form is not applicable to Non-residents and Residents but not ordinarily resident (RNOR).

Continue reading Major changes in ITR 1 (Sahaj) for AY 2018-19

Revised Nature of Business or Profession Codes for ITR Forms – AY 2018-19

Nature of Business or Profession Code is required to be furnished in ITR 3, ITR 4, ITR 5 and ITR 6. In the new Income tax return (ITR) forms for A.Y 2018-19, below changes are made in Nature of Business or Profession Codes. 

Continue reading Revised Nature of Business or Profession Codes for ITR Forms – AY 2018-19

Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) Number

What is Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) ?

The LEI is a 20-digit, alpha-numeric code that identifies legal entities participating in financial transactions. Each LEI is unique and contains reference information that enables simple and quick identification of an entity. As an international standard (based on ISO 17442), all LEI information is openly published and accessible to all.

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How to Resolve IGST Refund Issues for Exporters

IGST refund for Exporters – Provisions

As per Rule 96 of the CGST Rules 2017, the shipping bill filed by an exporter shall be deemed to be an application for refund of integrated tax paid on the goods exported out of India. Being so, opting LUT/NA or mentioning “0” against “IGST Paid” field, will keep away the exporter to avail refund claim even if they have paid the IGST as the exporter himself has declared the same in the Shipping Bill. However, following Circular No. 8/2018-Cus dated 23.03.2018, an option has been made available by the DG Systems in ICES for sanctioning IGST refund in respect of those cases where the exporter has erroneously declared that the shipment is without payment of IGST, although they have declared and paid the IGST in GST Returns.

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Statement of Financial Transaction (SFT / Form 61A) Preliminary Response

The due date for furnishing Statement of Financial Transaction (SFT) for Financial Year 2017-18 is May 31, 2018.

Communications are being received by the Income Tax Department for furnishing Form 61, Statement of Financial Transactions (Form 61A) / Statement of Reportable Accounts (Form 61B) on the Reporting Portal. Unlike last year the same was to be submitted on e-filing portal at https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in

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Reserve Bank’s decision to ban LoUs will badly Impact SME

Reserve Bank’s decision to ban LoUs is a knee-jerk reaction; can backfire badly, warn traders

Article in firstpost.com printed with permission: 

An industry-wide practice that worked well until the end of business hours on Tuesday, which allowed D Dhanasekaran’s Tiruppur-based textiles firm — Abi Tex Mills — import machinery from Oman and boost production, has now gone haywire with the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) decision to bar banks from issuing guarantees in the form of letters of undertaking (LoUs) and letters of comfort. “My machinery took a year to be imported and has been installed in the factory for a few months now. But now with buyer’s credit cancelled, I am focused on how to make payments instead of my production,” Dhanasekaran said.

Continue reading Reserve Bank’s decision to ban LoUs will badly Impact SME

Reuters: Indian importers face funding crunch with clampdown on credit guarantees

Article in Reuters printed with permission: 

Continue reading Reuters: Indian importers face funding crunch with clampdown on credit guarantees

Bank Audit – Buyers Credit and Nostro Account

A bank branch goes through four kinds of audits and inspection

  • Internal audit (done by bank staff) on regular basis
  • Concurrent audit (done by a third party), on monthly or quarterly basis
  • Statutory audit (done by the statutory auditor) on quarterly basis
  • Inspection by RBI (annual basis).

In relation to buyers credit transaction, below are the few audit point which are covered by above audits.

Continue reading Bank Audit – Buyers Credit and Nostro Account

Buyers Credit Secondary Market

During the PNB Fraud case, one of the Banks made a statement that:

“It is an active participant in the secondary market for buyer’s credit transactions and it has sold “all the referred transactions’’.

This article tries to throw some light on what is buyers credit secondary market, how the structure works and why banks do transaction in secondary market.

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RBI 2016 Circular : Frauds Related to Trade Finance Transactions – Misuse of SWIFT

RBI in its 2016 Circular to banks had mentioned problem in relation to process followed for issue and reconciliation of SWIFT messages related to Trade finance products and corrective actions banks should take to prevent any fraud. Worth a read.

Continue reading RBI 2016 Circular : Frauds Related to Trade Finance Transactions – Misuse of SWIFT

Implication on Buyers Credit because of PNB Fraud

Latest Articles:

  1. RBI Stops Buyers Credit Transactions (LOU & LOC)
  2. Indian Banks adds Additional Control to SWIFT System
  3. Bank Audit – Buyers Credit and Nostro Account

This article gives layman summary of the PNB fraud case and its impact on buyers credit product and various stake holders like Indian Bank Overseas Branches, Local Banks in India and Importers.

Continue reading Implication on Buyers Credit because of PNB Fraud

Suppliers Credit Process Flow

Supplier’s Credit is a structure of financing Import into India. In this structure, overseas suppliers or financial institutions outside India provide financing to importer on Libor linked rates against Usance letter of credit (LC). Importer and Overseas Bank will have to follow below process

Continue reading Suppliers Credit Process Flow

EU list of Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions : No Impact on Buyers Credit

On 5 December 2017, European Union (EU) Council approved and published a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions. Criteria used were:

  • Tax Transparency
  • Fair Taxation
  • Implementation of Anti – BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) standards

Continue reading EU list of Non-Cooperative Jurisdictions : No Impact on Buyers Credit

Interest Payment to Mauritius: 7.5% Withholding Tax

In earlier article “WHT (Withholding Tax) on Interest on Buyers Credit” and “Withholding Tax (WHT) on Suppliers Credit Transaction”, we had discussed that if buyers credit or suppliers credit is arranged from Mauritius based bank / branches, there was no withholding tax on interest payment as per Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA).

India-Mauritius Tax Treaty was amended on 10 May 2016 and got effective from 01 April 2017. In this article, only amendment related to Interest Payment  (Article 11) is covered.

Continue reading Interest Payment to Mauritius: 7.5% Withholding Tax

Post Libor World – Impact on Buyers Credit

In earlier article we have discussed about various aspect of Libor and its Impact on buyers credit transaction.

In brief, Libor attempts to answer a fundamental question: What is the  cost of money? It does this for a range of currencies (dollars, euros,  pounds, etc.) and for a range of maturities.

Continue reading Post Libor World – Impact on Buyers Credit

Stronger Rupee Impact on Buyers Credit

Currency fluctuation is one of the factor effecting  Buyers Credit.

Chart: www.xe.com

From 62 Level starting 2015, USD INR moved to 68 levels and since then has come back to 64 levels in 2017. This article explores impact of stronger rupee on importers who have availed buyers credit.

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Moratorium Period Impact on Buyers Credit

As per RBI Master Direction on External Commercial Borrowing and Trade Credit banks are allowed to sanction buyers credit on import of capital goods for  3 years with Letter of Undertaking.

In order to avail above buyers credit, Importer will have to get term loan sanctioned with buyers credit as sub-limit with his bank. As seen in earlier article “Buyers Credit on Capital Goods“, moratorium period is one of the factor which importer needs to take care at time of sanctioning of term loan. This article explains

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Rising Libor Rates and Its Impact on Buyers Credit

Buyers Credit transactions are funded on Libor rates. Thus any change in Libor directly impact overall costing of the transaction.

Libor rates started rising in 2015 and pace of which got picked up since beginning of 2017. Below 3 Month Libor and 6 Month Libor charts shows the trend. There are two charts for two range.

Continue reading Rising Libor Rates and Its Impact on Buyers Credit

Form 15CA and Form 15CB not Required for Import Payment

As seen in earlier article “Form 15CA & Form 15CB applicable on all payment“, except the exempted list, Form 15CA and Form 15CB was required for all type of payment. This resulted into lot of paper work for importers during regular import transactions.

Continue reading Form 15CA and Form 15CB not Required for Import Payment

Subsidy under CLCSS Cannot be Claimed Where Buyers Credit is Availed

Trigger for this topic is a question that a reader asked:

“MSME manufacturing  unit doing expansion of machinery by purchasing machinery from abroad   get credit linked capital subsidy scheme (CLCSS) from Central Government.

MSME unit avails buyers credit for payment to overseas buyer and sanctioned term loan is not utilised . Can the unit be eligible for subsidy? ”

Below article gives basic details about Credit Linked Capital Subsidy Scheme and revert to above query.

Continue reading Subsidy under CLCSS Cannot be Claimed Where Buyers Credit is Availed

Buyers Credit & Suppliers Credit in Rupee (INR)

RBI issued a circular on 10 Sep 2015, revising the policy on Trade Credit (Buyers Credit & Suppliers Credit). Summary of the same is given below:

As per revised guidelines, RBI has allowed resident importer to raise trade credit in Rupees (INR) within below framework after entering into a loan agreement with the overseas lender:

Continue reading Buyers Credit & Suppliers Credit in Rupee (INR)

Form 15CA & Form 15CB applicable on All Payment

Post below article CBDT has revised rules for form 15CA and Form 15CB effective from April 01, 2016. Refer article: Form 15CA and Form 15CB not Required for Import Payments

In revised notification issued by CDBT on 16th December 2015, effective 01’st April 2016, import payment has been made part of exempted list. Hence forth Form 15CA and Form 15CB will not required for the same during import transactions.

Continue reading Form 15CA & Form 15CB applicable on All Payment

Can Exporter Retain EEFC A/c Balance for Buyers Credit Repayment

Trigger for this topic is a question that a reader asked:

“Can Exporter retain dollar in EEFC A/c for buyers credit repayment ?”

Below article gives basic details about EEFC account and revert to above query.

Continue reading Can Exporter Retain EEFC A/c Balance for Buyers Credit Repayment

Meaning, Process, Quote, Interest Rate, SBLC, RBI & More

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