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Governing rules

The use of Documentary Collections is governed by global rules as contained in the Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Collections by the International Chamber of Commerce.

The latest version is commonly referred to as the URC522.

Documentary Collections

Foreign bills for collection

A cost-effective method of settling international trade transactions; where the buyer's and seller's banks act as intermediaries in the collection of trade payments.

Understanding the process

Giving the exporter control

A Documentary Collection is the collection, through a bank, of monies owed by a buyer, against delivery of certain documents.

The banks involved in the collection process do not make any guarantee for payment, and, therefore, there is no requirement to mark the collection against your banking facility. If your bank is requested to 'avalise' the bill of exchange, then the amount of the bill will be marked against your facility.

Usually, the payment method is agreed with the seller at the time of negotiation of the sales contract. The seller will request payment via a documentary collection.


Why you need this


The exporter retains ownership of the goods until either payment or acceptance is received


The bank acts for the exporter, by presenting commercial documents to the buyer (importer) along with a payment demand or bill of exchange


Accepted bills can be used to get financing

Quick payment

Settlement is normally faster than using the Open Account method


The handling of export collections is governed by the ICC Uniform Rules for Collections

Guaranteed payment

Unless the buyer pays or commits to pay at a future date, no documents will be handed over

How it works

We simplify the process for you

We will act as a collecting agent enabling the exporter to obtain acceptance and/or payment from the importer against delivery of documents:

  1. The seller ships the goods to the buyer
  2. The seller hands the documents to their bank (the remitting bank) with instructions to release the documents against acceptance/payment of a bill of exchange
  3. The remitting bank forwards the documents to the collecting/presenting bank in the buyer's country. The collecting bank could be the buyer's bank or another bank nominated by the remitting bank
  4. The collecting bank releases documents to the buyer as per instructions received from the remitting bank

What it costs

  • Collection fee based on the amount of the collection
  • Other fees include amendments to collection instructions, courier charges, SWIFT, queries, etc.
  • The instructing party remains responsible for all fees, so you may have to pay the importer's fees as well if, for some reason, the collection remains unpaid and the documents are returned to you
  • In the event of non-payment, you may have to take legal action in the country of the importer and this could be extremely costly

What you need to do

Honour you part of the deal

Negotiate terms

Simply negotiate the collection terms with the importer, ship the goods and then hand the documents to FNB (Trade & Working Capital Division) with collection instructions

Provide details

The bank would require the banking details of the importer

Ensure success

Discuss the transaction with FNB Botswana Trade & Working Capital Division to ensure all collections instructions are clear, workable and unambiguous

Getting it made easy

Documentary Collections

Qualifying criteria

  1. Any exporting company qualifies
  2. FNB Botswana prefers that you have an account in our books

How to get it

Get in touch

Other ways to apply

Complete the call me back form

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