FIMBank plc, a specialist international trade financial institution, recently organised a seminar for its staff on the new UCP 600 rules (Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits 2007 Revision Publication no. 600) published by the International Chamber of Commerce.
The UCP remain the most successful set of private rules for trade ever developed and FIMBank will be one of the banks dealing in global trade finance to be UCP 600 ready.
Presented by Prof. Charles Debattista, a member of the Consultative Group for UCP600, Vice-Chair of the ICC’s Commission on Commercial Law and Practice and a Member of its Banking Commission, the seminar was part of an intensive program on UCP 600 awareness adopted by FIMBank. The objective of this seminar was to ensure that its trade finance specialists were fully aware of the changes in UCP 600 before the changeover from UCP 500 on 1st of July, 2007.
Participants in this seminar indicated that this was a unique opportunity to learn about the technical aspects of the UCP 600 rules and will surely contribute to assist in the preparation for the imminent changeover. Participants also stated that it was useful to obtain this information directly from a person who was actively involved in the drafting of these rules.
The Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (commonly referred to as UCP) were first established by ICC in 1933. This revision of the UCP is the sixth revision of the rules since they were first circulated in 1933 and is the fruit of more than three years of work by the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) Commission on Banking Technique and Practice.
ICC, established in 1919, has as its primary objective to facilitate the flow of international trade at a time when nationalism and protectionism posed serious threats to the world trading system. It was in that spirit that the UCP were first introduced - to alleviate the confusion caused by individual countries' promoting their own national rules on letter of credit practice.
The objective since attained was to create a set of contractual rules that would establish uniformity in that practice, so that practitioners would not have to cope with a plethora of often conflicting national regulations. The universal acceptance of UCP by practitioners in countries with widely divergent economic and judicial systems is a testament to the rules success.
Prof. Charles Debattista specialises in international commercial law, with particular expertise in International Sales Contracts, bills of lading, charter-parties, letters of credit, bank guarantees, and international commercial disputes in general. He is also actively involved in the regulatory work of the ICC and was instrumental in the drafting of the Transportation articles in the new UCP600 rules. This was a unique opportunity for FIMBank’s staff to interact with a member of the ICC Consultative Group for UCP600, a subject matter expert, and to further understand the nuances of UCP600. FIMBank is also providing e-learning UCP600 courses to its entire staff during this year which intends to give a good overview of the UCP 600.
FIMBank has been working with Prof. Charles Debattista and will continue to liaise with him during the course of this year, in preparation to be UCP 600 compliant. In fact Prof. Charles Debattista will be one of the main speakers in a conference entitled ‘2007 Symposium on International Trade - UCP600 Rules - a major turning point’ which will be organised by FIMBank on the 11th and 12 June 2007 at the Corinthia San Gorg Hotel, St. Julian’s. Apart from Prof. Charles Debattista this conference shall be conducted by five other internationally renowned speakers who will discuss topics pertaining to their particular area of expertise. The speakers will be Ms Celia Gardiner (Reeds Smith Butler LLP London); Mr. Roger Jones (Chairman of ICC UK Banking Commission); Mr. Alexander Layton QC (Advisor and Advocate London); Prof. Salvatore Maccarone (Chairman ICC Italy Banking Commission) and Mr. Vincent Maulella (Trade and Bank Consultant).
The Symposium will be a day and a half of expert advice and discussion covering the changes from UCP 500 to UCP 600 and how they apply to actual situations from application through presentation. Experts from around the world will be invited to attend and share their experiences.
For further information on the Symposium and online registration, please visit our website on www.fimbank.com or contact us on 21 322100.