in order to guide you in your

Documentary import/export credit

You export or import goods and/or services, you need: 

  • to control risk of non-payment of your transactions if you are an exporter,
  • to make your international payments secure if you are an importer.

With documentary credit, commonly known “credoc” or “L/C” (Letter of Credit), choose a secure payment method, bringing together the interests of the importer and the exporter and carry out fully-secure international transactions.

Basic principles

Basic principles

Documentary credit is a procedure by which a bank commits to their client (importer) to pay the exporter, as the latter will have submitted documents complying with the conditions of the documentary credit.

It entails neutral third parties in the commercial contract, namely: 
the importer’s bank and the exporter’s bank. 

Bank payment commitments

  • By taking a risk on the solvency of their client, the importer’s bank commits, on behalf of the importer, to irrevocably pay the exporter. 

In the case of confirmed documentary credit, the exporter's bank adds its irrevocable commitment to payment to that of the importer’s bank. The exporter is also covered from the risk of the importer’s bank’s insolvency and linked “country risk”.

Technical expertise in the area of single international regulatory framework 

  • The commitment of the banks rests on the examination of documents (Example: invoice, transport documents, etc.) as required in the documentary credit. They should judge by their own apparent compliance in relation to the terms of the documentary credit. 
  • Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (RUU 600 of the International Chamber of Commerce), universally known, which is a properly regulated standardised product.
Your needs

Your needs

    • You import or export goods or services, 
    • Your relationships with your partner are recent and you have not yet proven their commercial ability/reliability,
    • You have queried the solvency of your importer and/or the linked “country risk”,
    • You do not have credit insurance covering your export contract,
    • You are setting up in a country where this payment method is favoured.



  • Insurance of the shipment of the goods, at the agreed price and on time,
  • Guarantee to settle only services actually performed,
  • Respect for international conditions of sale, of your regulatory obligations, conditions of payment,
  • Obtaining longer payment terms by negotiating a documentary credit payable in the future.


  • Assurance of the reality of the order upon receipt of the documentary credit,
  • Cover of the commercial risk,
  • Control of the submission of documents,
  • On-time payment,
  • Possibility of mobilising the receivable in the context of a documentary credit achievable by negotiation, deferred payment or acceptance.
Technical data

Technical data

*there are 4 methods in the area of documentary credit: immediate payment (financial flow described above), by negotiation, by deferred payment, by acceptance. In the case of full achievement, financial flows occur at the time of maturity.

Our advice

Our advice

Consult us prior to the signing of the commercial contract.

 We will you advise you on:

  • the simplest and most suitable structure corresponding to your expectations,
  • the correct choice of Incoterm,
  • the regulatory, political, financial context.
  • the quality of the importer’s bank submitted for the application of documentary credit.

We will inform you of our confirmation capabilities of our documentary credit and will be able to provide you with an indicative quote. 

And more

Our expertise 

  • 450 experts in international trade at your service,
  • A local presence in France and in 24 countries,
  • A global presence, 
  • Additional confirmation solutions study silent, del credere, mobilisation of receivables,
  • Advice at each stage of the documentary credit. 

Internationally recognised sign of quality 

Our risk taking knowledge

  • on more than 800 banks worldwide
  • in 100 countries

Our partners 

  • with more than 150 banks forming our geographic coverage

Our internet portal allows you to carry out all your operations related to the documentary credit on-line.

Member of:

  • Local document processing centres, certified ISO 9001 for the majority of the Group’s institutions,
  • Credit Agricole CIB is the first bank in Trade Finance in Western Europe. Named in the top 4 best banks for Trade Finance at a global level. (source : Magazine Global Trade Review 2021 et Dealogic).

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