The overreaching arc of sanctions regulations is threatening the certainty of payments guaranteed by the smooth functioning of letters of credit (LC) in international trade. This tension recently played out in the Singapore courts in a judgment handed down recently (Kuvera Resources Pte Ltd v JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.  SGCA 28).
In 1977, as Mr Justice Kerr was coining his often-cited description of the letter of credit as the “lifeblood of international commerce”, the obstruction caused by the use of sanctions in international trade as a weapon of foreign policy would have been difficult to predict. The modern use of sanctions clauses would have been beyond comprehension.
Supply Chain Finance can, and should, be a force for good in ensuring much-needed liquidity reaches all suppliers, regardless of their size and meets the objectives of buyers.
A prominent point of discussion at the International Trade and Forfaiting Association’s (ITFA) 48th Annual International Trade and Forfaiting Conference in Porto has been the digitisation of trade finance––particularly after the challenges COVID-19 caused for a largely paper-based industry.