International

Import Letters of Credit

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If you import goods, protect both yourself and your supplier with an Import Letter of Credit, a secure payment method for settling international trade transactions.

At a glance – key product features

  • Adds assurance to your underlying documentary trade transaction
  • Shows your supplier you have the ability to pay for the goods
  • Tailored by you to your needs, including terms for shipping, delivery, insurance and quality inspection

Key benefits

Provide your suppliers with more security of payment


Use a Letter of Credit to negotiate better terms, such as increasing the credit period


Can be used alongside our other Trade Finance solutions such as Buyer Loans


How an Import Documentary Credit works

A Documentary Credit (DC) is controlled through the banking system. It means your supplier has to provide complying documents to HSBC via their bank in order to get paid.

It’s a commitment from HSBC to your supplier via their bank stating HSBC will make payment within a set time limit, as long as clearly defined terms and conditions have been met.

Before a Import Letter of Credit can be issued, we’ll need to set up an HSBC trade facility for you

How an Import Letter of Credit works

A Letter of Credit also known as Documentary Credit is controlled through the banking system. It means your supplier has to provide specified documents to a bank in order to get paid.

It's a commitment from your bank to your supplier stating it will receive payment within a set time limit, as long as clearly defined terms and conditions have been met.

Before a Import Letter of Credit can be issued, we’ll need to set up an HSBC trade facility for you.

Important information

Existing trade finance customers

If you don’t use HSBCnet for trade finance, you’ll find manual forms to apply for or amend a Letter of Credit, or to request early delivery of goods here.

Speak to a Trade Finance specialist

For new enquiries

Call us on

0800 783 1300

Lines are open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays

Help and support

Ways to Bank

Get information about the range of tools and resources available to our trade finance customers, including HSBCnet and our Instant@dvice service

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