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Export documentary letter of credit

Securely receive payment from your international customers.

An export documentary letter of credit is a document whereby your buyer instructs their bank to pay you, on the basis that the agreed conditions specified in the original documentary credit are met. It’s an internationally accepted method of settling trade payments. Rules and guidelines are governed by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).


  • A secure form of payment
  • Available in most major currencies
  • Issued as 'irrevocable', which means it cannot be amended or cancelled without agreement of all parties to the letter of credit
  • The buyer can’t cancel or alter the terms and conditions without your agreement
  • Upon receipt of documents from you, we will check that the terms and conditions of the documentary credit have been complied with, before forwarding documents to the buyer’s bank
  • Can restore your working capital as soon as possible after shipment of goods
  • The payment security offered allows you to develop new business relationships and opportunities  
  • Involves the presentation of specific documents e.g. commercial invoice, bill of lading, certificate of origin
  • It is issued on a 'sight' or 'term' basis. 'Sight' means that drafts are drawn for immediate payment, 'term' means that drafts are drawn on a term payment basis, e.g. 30 days after sight, 90 days from bill of lading.

Know some of the risks

Issuing bank and country risk may be mitigated by having Westpac confirm or add their guarantee to the documentary credit (subject to availability). Guarantee of payment is reliant on presentation of documents in strict compliance with the terms and conditions of the documentary credit.

Things you should know

Credit facilities are subject to application and the Bank's normal lending assessment criteria. Fees and charges may apply to the products and services listed. Full details of the Terms and Conditions for all the products and services which do not have a Product Disclosure Statement are available on application.