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Documentary Business

Trade with foreign partners involves potential risks. Due to the large distances involved, exchanges of money for goods seldom take place simultaneously or face-to-face. In an age of globalization - with the merging of borders and cultures - we can assist you as a dependable and competent partner.

Our extensive correspondent banking network guarantees fast and problem-free documentary transactions on a global basis.

Documentary Credit

When it comes to foreign trade, letters of credit (L/C) have an exceptional track record as a payment method. Bank Austria avails itself of many different variations of this proven instrument to settle transactions for its clients, helping them to choose the best option for both their import and export transactions.

Export letters of credit

The letter of credit opened by the foreign bank at the buyer’s request is advised - with or without confirmation - by Bank Austria to the exporter. The bank examines the documents which are presented and, if all the terms and conditions of the L/C have been met, makes payment pursuant to the L/C.

Transferable Letter of credit

If the exporter appearing as beneficiary on the L/C in the letter of credit has to buy the goods himself, which he subsequently hopes to deliver, he can, under certain conditions, assign his L/C to the producer in full or in part.

Assignment of letter of credit demands

Given the requisite level of credit-worthiness, amounts which become due and payable at a later date under the L/C (e.g., 90 days after the date of dispatch) can be disbursed immediately to the exporter.

Import letters of credit

When instructed to do so by the importer, Bank Austria will open the requested L/C. The L/C can be issued to be advised at sight or with a deferred maturity, as transferable or not transferable, to be confirmed or to be advised without commitment as well as to be made payable in Austria or abroad.

Back-to-Back letter of credit

This option is largely of interest to transit suppliers, and is used mainly if a simple L/C assignment is not possible or suitable.

Standby-Letters of Credit (SLC)

This is a special L/C form which does not serve as a payment instrument, but rather as a hedge. SLCs are used if the issuance of a conventional bank guarantee is not possible due to foreign regulations (e.g. in the USA).

Documentary Collections

Documentary collections (also cash against documents, CAD) are a form of payment processing used in international trade, normally utilized in connection with a goods transaction.

The collection conditions can stipulate

  • documents against payment, D/P and/or
  • documents against acceptance, D/A and/or
  • the fulfillment of other conditions (e.g. letter of undertaking)

These requirements should be specified in the purchase contract.


  • The seller and purchaser know each other as reliable partners.
  • Economic and political conditions in the purchaser’s country are stable.
  • There is no suspicion of risks related to foreign exchange controls or import restrictions.


The settlement procedure is governed by the ‘Uniform Rules for Collections (URC)’ published by the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris. These rules are binding for all involved parties.


  • Are not obligated to examine the documents.
  • Are not liable to the seller for the redemption of the purchase price claim by the purchaser.
  • Are completely independent of the underlying transaction.

Distribution of risk

  • The seller must ship the goods, not knowing whether he will receive payment or not.
  • The purchaser must pay when he collects the collection documents, even if he has not yet received the goods, or if he has not yet been able to examine them to determine whether they fulfill the terms of the contract.
  • The banks serve as trustees.