Glossar Trade & Export Finance
Glossar (S)

Said to contain (s.t.c.)/said to weigh (s.t.w.)/shipper's load and count

Clauses in transport documents which exclude liability of the carrier for the consistency of the description of the goods or the weight of the goods actually loaded, e.g. goods in containers. This provides protection to the carrier against claims by the consignee. See UCP Art. 26.

Sea Waybill

Transport document which is not a document of title/negotiable document. The sea waybill indicates the «on board» loading of the goods and can be used in cases where no ocean bill of lading, i.e. no document of title is required. For receipt of the goods, presentation of the sea waybill by the consignee named therein is not required, which can speed up processing at the port of destination. See UCP Art. 21. Please note the disposal and cargo control provisions of this type of document.


Confiscation of assets.

Shipped on boards

Explanation see under «On board».

Shipped on deck

See under «On deck».


See under «Consignor».

Shipper's load and count

Shipping documents

Explanation see under «Transport documents».

Short drawings (of the documentary credit amount)

The UCP applies the procedures for partial drawings in a documentary credit. See UCP Art. 31 and 32.

Short form and blank back transport documents

Transport documents which do not contain all of the conditions of the contract of carriage and/or refer to such conditions as being contained in a source document other than the transport document. See UCP Art. 19a v., 20a v., 21a v.

Signatures on documents

According to the UCP, documents may be signed by handwriting, by facsimile signature, by perforated signature, by stamp, by symbol or by any other mechanical or electronic method of authentication. Please note, however, that documentary credits may abrogate this regulation by expressly stipulating a particular method of authentication. See UCP Art. 3.

Silent confirmation (of documentary credits)

In addition to the commitment of the issuing bank the advising bank can, by silent confirmation, enter into its own, independent commitment to pay or accept. In contrast to the confirmed documentary credit, in this case there is no confirmation instruction given by the issuing bank. Silent confirmations are thus purely agreements between the beneficiary and the «silently confirming» bank. In order to enforce its claim, the «silently confirming» bank requires the assignment to them of all the rights of the beneficiary under the letter of credit. Your documentary credit customer advisor at UBS will be happy to answer any questions on this matter.

Soft clause

Clauses in the documentary credit which make it impossible for the beneficiary (seller) to meet the conditions of the documentary credit on his own and independently of the purchaser. Example: «The goods must be accepted prior to shipment by a representative of the buyer. The name of the representative is made known via an amendment in the documentary credit at a later stage». It is not recommended for exporters to agree to this type of condition.

Standby Letter of Credit

The standby letter of credit is very similar in nature to a guarantee. The beneficiary can claim payment in the event that in his sole judgement the principal does not comply with its obligations to the beneficiary. Payment can usually be claimed against presentation of beneficiary's written demand stating that the principal has failed to fulfil his obligations. With this instrument the following payments and performances, among others, can be supported:

  • repay funds borrowed or advanced

  • fulfil subcontracts

  • secure payment of invoices for goods sold on an open account basis.

Standby letters of credit are mostly submitted to the UCP in which case the respective rules apply. They may also be submitted to the «International Standby Practices ISP98». See also UCP Art. 1.

Straight bill of lading

Bill of lading consigned to a specific party and which can not be transferred by endorsement.

Subsidiary (for transport insurances)

The goods are covered for the same period or journey and against the same risks with two insurers. The non-contractual transport insurer has secondary liability, i.e. compensates only for damages not covered by the other insurance.


Under a surety, the guarantor pledges to become liable for the performance of the principal's obligation vis-à-vis the creditor. The surety presupposes a legitimate principal obligation. The surety shares the fate of the principal obligation as an accessory right; if the principal obligation lapses, the surety also lapses.

  • simple guarantee (Code of Obligations Art. 495)

  • joint and several guarantee (Code of Obligations Art. 496).

Swiss Export Risk Insurance/SERV

Securing export business receivables. The Swiss Confederation's export risk insurance scheme - SERV - has been in existence since 1934. SERV covers not only the export of actual goods, but is also available for a variety of other economic services, for example: for the rental of goods; for building, engineering and development work; for the assignment of licenses and for scientific, technical and business consultancy work. At present, SERV covers the following risks in particular:

  • risks associated with transfers and premiums;

  • the credit risks of both state and private clients, guarantors and certain private banks;

  • political risks (for example, war, revolution, etc.) and

  • pre-delivery (manufacturing) risks.

Syndicated credit; syndicated loan

Credit or loan granted jointly by two or more banks, one of which acts as lead manager. Also called consortium operation.

Syndicate transaction

Type a) when a general contractor assumes responsibility for the execution of a large order, issues a performance guarantee and includes his sub-contractors (syndicate members) in the risk with counter-guarantees.
Type b) syndication of the guarantee business of a large company or the confirmation of a documentary credit, under lead management (for instance by UBS) and with participation of third-party banks.