A letter of credit is widely considered to be the most secure international trade payment method for both seller and buyer because it is a legal contract subject to well-established international law. It provides conditional payment security for the seller, the condition being that the seller must present to a nominated bank documents that are in strict compliance with the terms and conditions of the letter of credit, under compliance requirements which are promulgated in International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) rules and covering publications. At the same time, it provides documentary evidence to the buyer that the sales contract has been fulfilled and that customs and other regulatory documents required for the importation process will be compliant, complete and available.

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