Types of documentary collections

Documents against payment (Documents against payment = D/Por cash against documents = C.a.D.)

The presenting bank may only release the documents simultaneously against immediate payment.


  • In practice, buyers will often delay payment and thus acceptance of the documents until the goods arrive. In order to avoid such delays, the collection instruction should state the exact period of time within which any action is to be taken by the drawee (URC Art. 5b).

  • However, local or national legislation may prescribe that - contrary to Art. 18 of the URC - collection documents may be released against payment in the national currency (foreign exchange authorization procedure in countries with exchange controls).

Documents against acceptance (D/A) (Documents against Acceptance = D/A)

The presenting bank may only release the documents against acceptance of a draft by the importer, e.g. on a date 180 days after the goods were dispatched.


  • The importer takes possession of the merchandise before payment is made. The advantage of this is that he can re-sell the goods immediately, thereby raising the necessary funds to pay the draft on the due date.

  • The exporter thus grants the importer a period of credit and in return receives a draft accepted by the drawee. As this is all he can rely on until the draft matures, the principal bears the risk of non-payment.

  • If the exporter requires greater security, he can request a guarantee or surety from a prime bank. However, he must ensure that this is contractually covered and request advance confirmation from the guarantor bank.

Documents against a letter of undertaking

The presenting bank releases the documents to the importer against a letter of undertaking, the wording of which is determined by the remitting bank or the importer. By signing the letter of undertaking, the importer undertakes to pay the collection amount on a specific date.


  • For the legal enforcement of such a letter of undertaking, it is imperative that it is clearly and unambiguously formulated.

  • As with documentary collection against acceptance, the exporter grants the importer a period of credit.

  • The letter of undertaking is not covered by legislation governing drafts.

Collection with acceptance: release of documents only against payment = Acceptance D/P

This type of collection is rarely used in practice. The exporter gives instructions for the drawee to accept a draft due, say, 30 days after sight. However, the presenting bank may only hand over the documents to the drawee once payment of the draft has been effected.


  • Despite the acceptance of the draft, the documents can only be released on payment. If the goods are required urgently, the drawee may have to consider payment prior to maturity.

  • The presenting bank will not be responsible for any consequences resulting from a delay in the delivery of documents.