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ABN AMRO

Documentary Collection

Better protected in international transactions

Doing international trade the secure way

  • Maintain control over your goods (sea freight) 
  • Payment due only after goods ship 
  • Convenient overall view online with Extradeal

Request to issue a Documentary Export Collection

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Please note: ABN AMRO is not obliged to process your request.

When requesting a documentary collection for the first time please call Trade Sales first on +31 (0)10 - 402 47 65 (local rates apply).

If you and/or your trading partner want more security when doing business internationally, a Documentary Collection can be a good option. A Documentary Collection sees banks take on an intermediary role for document delivery and payment processing, but they do not guarantee payment.

Documentary Collection features

This is a Documentary Collection

A Documentary Collection is a kind of documentary payment product. The bank acts as an intermediary. The exporter provides all the trade documents and the importer receives the documents against payment of the collection amount or against acceptance of a bill of exchange. 

With the trade documents in their possession, the importer can in most cases take receipt of the goods

Please note: a Documentary Collection is a means of payment, not a guarantee for payment by the importer. The exporter will still bear the risk of the importer not paying for the goods. The banks involved do not undertake a payment obligation. They will only undertake a payment obligation when an 'aval’ is provided, which consists of the collecting bank guaranteeing a bill of exchange for payment on the maturity date.

Parties involved
  • Drawer: the exporter and principal for the Documentary Collection. 
  • Drawee: the importer to whom the Documentary Collection is submitted.
  • Remitting bank: the bank to which the exporter submits the collection order. This bank subsequently sends the trade documents with instructions to the collecting bank. 
  • Collecting bank: the bank settling the Documentary Collection with the importer as per the remitting bank’s instructions.
Here’s how it works

Let’s say that one of the terms of a sales contract or trade contract is that payment is to be made through a Documentary Collection. The parties have also agreed on what trade documents the exporter has to submit to the importer.

The exporter submits their goods to the carrier on time, along with shipping instructions. The exporter gathers all the trade documents that the importer needs.

The exporter sends all the trade documents, along with collection instructions, to their bank, which then forwards these documents to the importer’s bank. The importer receives the trade documents after having paid the amount due or after having accepted the bill of exchange as per the collection terms. Watch the video below for a run-down of the steps.

Good to know

A Documentary Collection can offer you and your trading partner more security when doing business internationally. As soon as the goods have shipped, the exporter sends the trade documents and collection instructions to their own bank, i.e. the remitting bank. After that, the trade documents are remitted to the importer’s bank, i.e. the collecting bank. As soon as the importer meets the collection instructions, they will receive the trade documents.

Important

The use of a Documentary Collection is governed by international regulations published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). These rules are laid down in the Uniform Rules for Collections (URC 522), a copy of which can be ordered from ICC. There are different types of a Documentary Collection. 

See the frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page for the full list. 

A Documentary Collection does not include payment security, meaning that the importer is not under an obligation to pay or accept the trade documents. The exporter is exposed to the risk of the importer not being able or willing to pay while the goods have already shipped. With a Documentary Collection, there is a chance of trade documents get lost in the post (‘lost in transit risk’). 

ABN AMRO cannot be held liable for this risk, except if ABN AMRO made a demonstrable mistake when sending the documents. When sending trade documents to ABN AMRO, please give clear delivery instructions to your postal carrier. Make sure your documents are physically delivered in at the relevant ABN AMRO branch and not at a service point, when the ABN AMRO branch is closed for example. 

ABN AMRO will not collect the documents from a service point and does not accept any responsibility or liability for documents dropped off at a service point. A bill of exchange is an unconditional, written payment order, in local or foreign currency, and is payable on a future date or immediately. This is part of the Documentary Collection instructions. 

Read the frequently asked questions on this page for more information about the bill of exchange, and check the leaflet for instructions on how to fill in a bill of exchange. 

For handling a Documentary Collection we charge fees. See the 'Fees' tab for details.

Fees

We charge a collection commission and postage for a Documentary Collection. Next to that, we charge for additional services. Take a look at our overview of fees and charges .

Documentary Collection features

This is a Documentary Collection

A Documentary Collection is a kind of documentary payment product. The bank acts as an intermediary. The exporter provides all the trade documents and the importer receives the documents against payment of the collection amount or against acceptance of a bill of exchange. 

With the trade documents in their possession, the importer can in most cases take receipt of the goods

Please note: a Documentary Collection is a means of payment, not a guarantee for payment by the importer. The exporter will still bear the risk of the importer not paying for the goods. The banks involved do not undertake a payment obligation. They will only undertake a payment obligation when an 'aval’ is provided, which consists of the collecting bank guaranteeing a bill of exchange for payment on the maturity date.

Parties involved

  • Drawer: the exporter and principal for the Documentary Collection. 
  • Drawee: the importer to whom the Documentary Collection is submitted.
  • Remitting bank: the bank to which the exporter submits the collection order. This bank subsequently sends the trade documents with instructions to the collecting bank. 
  • Collecting bank: the bank settling the Documentary Collection with the importer as per the remitting bank’s instructions.

Here’s how it works

Let’s say that one of the terms of a sales contract or trade contract is that payment is to be made through a Documentary Collection. The parties have also agreed on what trade documents the exporter has to submit to the importer.

The exporter submits their goods to the carrier on time, along with shipping instructions. The exporter gathers all the trade documents that the importer needs.

The exporter sends all the trade documents, along with collection instructions, to their bank, which then forwards these documents to the importer’s bank. The importer receives the trade documents after having paid the amount due or after having accepted the bill of exchange as per the collection terms. Watch the video below for a run-down of the steps.

Good to know

A Documentary Collection can offer you and your trading partner more security when doing business internationally. As soon as the goods have shipped, the exporter sends the trade documents and collection instructions to their own bank, i.e. the remitting bank. After that, the trade documents are remitted to the importer’s bank, i.e. the collecting bank. As soon as the importer meets the collection instructions, they will receive the trade documents.

Important

The use of a Documentary Collection is governed by international regulations published by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). These rules are laid down in the Uniform Rules for Collections (URC 522), a copy of which can be ordered from ICC. There are different types of a Documentary Collection. 

See the frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page for the full list. 

A Documentary Collection does not include payment security, meaning that the importer is not under an obligation to pay or accept the trade documents. The exporter is exposed to the risk of the importer not being able or willing to pay while the goods have already shipped. With a Documentary Collection, there is a chance of trade documents get lost in the post (‘lost in transit risk’). 

ABN AMRO cannot be held liable for this risk, except if ABN AMRO made a demonstrable mistake when sending the documents. When sending trade documents to ABN AMRO, please give clear delivery instructions to your postal carrier. Make sure your documents are physically delivered in at the relevant ABN AMRO branch and not at a service point, when the ABN AMRO branch is closed for example. 

ABN AMRO will not collect the documents from a service point and does not accept any responsibility or liability for documents dropped off at a service point. A bill of exchange is an unconditional, written payment order, in local or foreign currency, and is payable on a future date or immediately. This is part of the Documentary Collection instructions. 

Read the frequently asked questions on this page for more information about the bill of exchange, and check the leaflet for instructions on how to fill in a bill of exchange. 

For handling a Documentary Collection we charge fees. See the 'Fees' tab for details.

Fees

We charge a collection commission and postage for a Documentary Collection. Next to that, we charge for additional services. Take a look at our overview of fees and charges .

How a Documentary Collection works

Watch the video with a brief explanation of how a Documentary Collection works.

If you supply goods you are the exporter

You send us the trade documents for the importer and specify instructions on the terms that have to be met before the documents can be handed over to your customer. Next, we send the trade documents with the collection instructions to your customer’s bank. This bank will only be allowed to hand the trade documents over to your customer once all the terms are complied with.

Maintain control on your goods

A Documentary Collection is particularly well suited for transactions where goods are shipped by sea and the transport document is a bill of lading. This is a document of title, meaning that the holder of an original bill of lading can demand the goods specified on it. As long as this document has not been handed over to the importer, you maintain control on your goods.

Please note: you may lose control on the goods when, for example, the goods sent by air freight addressed to the importer or when you have sent one or multiple original copies of a bill of lading to the importer separately, i.e. not as part of the Documentary Collection transaction.

What to bear in mind

There is a risk of your customer refusing to pay while the goods have already shipped. When that happens, you will have to bear the costs involved, such as the shipping costs. If the goods have already arrived at the place of destination and payment is not made, you will have to incur costs to retrieve the goods and/or sell them elsewhere. This is a reason why a Documentary Collection is mainly a good option when you trust your customer sufficiently.

Non-payment

See the frequently asked questions on this page for details of what happens when the customer does not pay for or accept the documents. 

Looking for more security? A Letter of Credit might be a better option for you. 

If you want to find out more, call our Trade Service Desk on +31 (0)10 402 5444 (local rates apply)

If you purchase, you are the importer

We will receive the trade documents with collection instructions from your supplier’s bank. We then present the Documentary Collection to you. Finally, you receive the trade documents against immediate payment or against acceptance of a bill of exchange, payable at a future date, depending on what the collection instructions state. In most cases, you will not have to pay anything until the goods have shipped.

What to bear in mind?

For you as an importer, having the trade documents does not say anything about their content or the quality and quantity of the goods supplied. A Documentary Collection does, therefore, not always guarantee correct delivery for the importer.

Looking for more security? A Letter of Credit might be a better option for you. This will let you, for example, require the exporter to provide a pre-shipment inspection certificate.

Settings

Amending a Documentary Collection

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FAQ

A documentary collection is intended for customers with a business account who want to perform international transactions and decide for themselves what payment risks they are willing to run.

If you are an exporter, a Documentary Collection is the best option in the following cases:

  • sea freight (control on goods with a Bill of Lading) 
  • transactions with business partners you know and trust 
  • when exporting commonly traded goods
  • Documents against payment (D/P)
    This consists of you instructing us to submit the trade documents, through a local bank, to the buyer in exchange for payment of the agreed collection amount (‘payment at sight’). Under this kind of Documentary Collection, the buyer is asked to pay immediately upon receipt of the trade documents as and when they are released by the bank. There is no payment obligation, for the bank.
  • Documents against acceptance (D/A
    With this kind of collection, you are stating that it has been agreed that payment will be deferred. For example, this can state ‘Payment 30 days after invoice date’ or ‘Payment 90 days after B/L date’. You will then have to enclose a bill of exchange payable at a future date with the documents, which the buyer will need to accept before the bank will release the trade documents.

    Please note: the bill of exchange may still be unpaid on the maturity date, while the buyer does already have the goods by then. The collection and the bill of exchange do, therefore, not constitute a payment obligation of the local bank involved. If payment is still forthcoming on the maturity date, the seller will either have to renegotiate the payment with the buyer or consider/take legal steps against the buyer. 
Want to defer payment, but with a greater level of security? 
  • Documents against Acceptance + Aval
    If you decide you want greater security after all, choose a D/A plus Avalisation. This means that your customer’s bank is asked to guarantee payment of the bill of exchange on the maturity date. The question is, of course, whether or not the importer’s bank is willing to guarantee payment.

You can track the status of your documents using DHL's shipping number. One condition for document tracking is that the documents must have been picked up or received and registered by DHL Nederland. Follow the instructions below to track the status of your documents.

On the DHL website enter the following details: 

  • Shipment Reference. DHL uses ABN AMRO’s reference number as the Shipment reference. Example: reference number NLHU1234567 (without further additions, such as E001). It is important that you enter all the capital letters indicated. 
  • Date range (from): select the date when the documents were sent to ABN AMRO. 
  • Date range (to): this is the current date. 
  • You do not have to enter anything in the Account Number or Destination fields. 
If you have any questions about this procedure, please contact ABN AMRO Trade Operations on +31 (0)10 402 5444 (usual call charges apply).

Endorsing a bill of exchange means that it is used as a payment instrument. The bill of exchange can be endorsed to another party by placing a signature and company stamp on the back. Bills of lading and insurance policies can also be endorsed in this manner.

You have agreed with your customer that they will pay the bill of exchange on a certain date in the future. If you decide you want to receive the money sooner than that, you can ask us to discount the bill of exchange. This means that you sell the bill of exchange  payable at a future date to us and we will deduct a fee and discount interest from the amount due on the bill of exchange.

This option is available only for documents against acceptance with aval.

If you want to find out more about this, call our Trade Service Desk on +31 (0)10 402 5444 (local rates apply).

Send your Documentary Collection and/or related trade documents by courier or registered mail to the following address:

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.
Trade & Guarantees
Coolsingel 131-133
3012 AG Rotterdam
The Netherlands 

All other correspondence should be sent to the following address: 

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.
Trade & Guarantees
Postbus 949
3000 DD Rotterdam
The Netherlands

If you and/or your trading partner want more security when doing business internationally, a Documentary Collection can be a good option. A Documentary Collection sees banks take on an intermediary role for delivery of trade documents and payment processing, but they do not guarantee payment. 

With a Letter of Credit, on the other hand, one of the banks involved does guarantee payment. The importer’s bank undertakes to pay a certain amount once the exporter has complied with the terms of the Letter of Credit.

To find out which of these two products would be the best option in your situation, call our Trade Service Desk on +31 (0)10 402 5444 (local rates apply).

You can then ask us to send a tracer to the collecting bank to check the status of the payment. We charge a fee for sending tracers. See our overview of fees and charges for details. 

In some cases, there is also the option of having a deed of protest issued. If you want to find out more about this, call our Trade Service Desk on +31 (0)10 402 5444.