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Documentary collection

Documentary collection

In Documentary Collection transaction the bank undertakes the transfer of documents for delivering goods

  • Buyer does not have to make advance payment for goods or services
  • Risks of parties involved in purchase / sales transaction are lower
  • Operations are regulated by the rules issued by the International Chamber of Commerce

Exchange of goods and services in the international market is a relatively complicated and risky process: turnover of goods and financial resources take place beyond the country borders and oftentimes is connected to concerns whether buyers and sellers are able to fulfill their commitments. SEB bank Documentary Collection (as well as Letter of Credit or Bank Guarantee) will considerably diminish your company import or export transaction risks and provide guarantees both for exporter and importer of goods.

We recommend choosing SEB bank Documentary Collection in cases, when you would like to limit the transaction risk, and:

  • You have a known and/or long-term international partner, with whom you have already done business transactions;
  • You as a seller do not have doubts about buyer's ability to pay and its willingness to pay for goods;
  • Goods that can be stored for longer periods or that can be sold easily or that can be shipped back are purchased;
  • Goods, whose purchase documents guarantee ownership rights are purchased. For example, in case of sea transit a bill of landing is issued that confirms the ownership rights to the goods in transit. Without the mentioned document buyer can not receive goods and, in order to receive it, the buyer should pay the amount mentioned in Documentary Collection documents to the bank;
  • Destination for delivering goods is outside of Latvia and for its transportation you need to use transfer by ship;
  • Political and economic situation in the buyers country is stable;
  • There are no any currency payment restrictions set in seller's country.

What is provided by Documentary Collection

Documentary Collection – in comparison with regular bank payment order – is more secure way of receiving payment for goods or services. Documentary Collection is cashing in amount of money from buyer in certain term in exchange for financial and/or trade documents with the assistance of a bank:

  • For the seller Documentary Collection serves as a guarantee that the buyer will receive documents only after paying for goods;
  • The Buyer does not need to pay advance payment but payment in exchange for documents confirming delivery of goods in accordance with conditions in the agreement.

Unlike with Letter of Credit, in case of Documentary Collection the bank will not undertake commitment and responsibility for making payments.

It means that Documentary Collection does not guarantee timely payment to the seller from the buyer and does not provide a guarantee, that the buyer will receive goods. The bank is only a mediator that will keep transaction documents until the payment will be made for goods or services, as well as will remind the buyer about the payment deadline.

Documentary Collection is a separate, independent transaction from trade or other agreements – all parties involved in Documentary Collection are operating only with documents, not goods or services that there documents refer to.

Documentary Collection is a safe and internationally recognized type of payment – its operations are regulated by rules issued by the International Chamber of Commerce "United Collection regulations" Nr. 522, 1995, version (URC 522). SEB bank has a significant international trade experience – we have secured Documentary Collection transactions not only in Europe and the United States, but also in such countries as Uruguay, Pakistan, Nigeria and others.

Documentary Collection professing for standard transaction at SEB bank costs on average no more than EUR 150. Most often SEB bank service costs are covered by SEB bank clients.

Documentary Collection advantages, if you are a seller in the transaction

  • Documentary Collection conditions are simple;
  • Buyer will not be able to access documents and goods until he has paid or accepted to pay. Until receiving of payment, the bank keeps all the documents;
  • The bank will remind the buyer about payment until the moment it is made;
  • Documentary collection costs are lower than costs of Letter of Credit.

Documentary Collection advantages if you are a buyer in the transaction

  • In comparison with the seller, Documentary Collection is more beneficial to the buyer;
  • You have an option to pay for goods or services after they have been delivered;
  • Documentary Collection has simpler conditions than for Letter of Credit;
  • Documentary Collection has lower costs than costs for Letter of Credit.

For minimizing transaction risks you can also choose to use other SEB bank services – Letter of Credit or Bank Guarantee.

Read more about Letter of Credit

Read more about Bang Guarantee

Comparison of Letter of Credit, Bank Guarantee and Documentary Collection

Documentary Collection

Letter of Credit

Bank Guarantee /Pledge

Type of payment

Type of payment

Instrument for limiting risk

Payment for trading documents

Payment for trading documents

Takes place without making a payment

Documents are not returned to the buyer without payment or pledge to pay for goods within a certain time frame

Documents are not returned to the buyer without payment or pledge to pay for goods within a certain time frame

Documents can be requested only in case of guarantee payment


Bank does not have a commitment to pay

Bank has a commitment to pay

Bank has a commitment to pay


If necessary, our bank specialist will provide a consultation to you and will help to choose the most beneficial type of Documentary Collection for your transaction:

  • Documents against payment – D/P means that seller receives transaction documents in exchange of immediate payment – as soon as the payment indicated in the documents has been made.
  • Documents against acceptance, D/A means that documents are transferred to buyer in exchange of commitment to pay for goods in a certain time period – against seller issued that accept with a set term for payment.
  1. Seller and buyer conclude a trade agreement and agree that Documentary Collection will be used as form of payment for this transaction.

  2. In accordance with agreement conditions, the seller sends goods to the buyer.

  3. Seller fills-out and submits to his bank transaction documents together with Documentary Collection order that lists conditions on which the bank can issue the mentioned documents to the buyer.

  4. Seller's bank sends Documentary Collection order to buyer's bank.

  5. Buyer's bank announces to the buyer about receipt of Documentary Collection order and informs about conditions to receive these documents from the bank. Before acceptance of documents the buyer has the right to see the documents at the bank. .

  6. If buyer agrees to the conditions of Documentary Collection, buyer's bank transfers the documents to him in exchange for immediate payment or post-payment – by accepting that.

  7. If buyer receives documents in exchange for immediate payment, the buyer's bank transfers the amount mentioned in the documents to the seller's bank immediately after the transfer of documents to the buyer. If documents are transferred to the buyer by acceptance of that, then the amount is transferred to the seller's bank in the agreed term.

  8. After receipt of payment, the seller's bank from the buyer's bank transfers money to the seller.

  In force from In force to
Documentary collection order
In force
Services Fees

Import Documentary collections

Handling and payment of documentary collections 0,2%, min 100.00 EUR
Notification of changes to documentary collection/release of documents without payment 45.00 EUR

Export Documentary collections

Handling and payment of documentary collections 0,2%, min 80.00 EUR
Changes to/cancellation of documentary collection 45.00 EUR



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