The International Trade Blog

Chris Lidberg

Chris Lidberg

Ms. Chris Lidberg is an independent consultant in the area of international banking and Letters of Credit. Ms. Lidberg has more than 25 years of international banking experience, most recently as Vice President at U.S. Bank where she was part of the International Trade Services Division. She was responsible for selling the bank's international products to both customers and prospects, and conducting Letter of Credit seminars.

During her 25 years in banking, 15 of those years were spent in the Letter of Credit area, holding various supervisory positions, later to manage the Letter of Credit department. MS. Lidberg went on to become the manager of International Operations where she was responsible for managing not only Letters of Credit, but also International Collections, Money Transfers, Cash Letters, Investigations and all Telex and SWIFT activities for the bank. Ms Lidberg is currently partnering with U.S. Bank to provide full day Letter of Credit seminars.

Articles Written By Chris Lidberg

Letter of Credit Basics: Don't Grant Access to Your Goods Before You Get Paid

Unfortunately, once both parties agree to the method of payment, sellers frequently don’t give much thought to the actual terms and conditions that are contained in the letter of credit. This is a mistake, and it can lead to a world of problems.

As the seller, you should pay particular attention to the international bill of lading requirements in the letter of credit.

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My Checklist for Reviewing a Letter of Credit

I know there are companies out there that never look at their letters of credit (LC) until they are ready to present documents to the bank. Once they’ve received one from their customer, they assume it’s as good as gold and immediately put it away for safekeeping.

This practice sends shivers down my spine!

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Switching from Export Letters of Credit to Collections

In a previous article, Deciding on Approriate Export Payment Terms, I suggested that companies should perform an annual review of payment terms for each of their customers. A company’s creditworthiness and/or their country’s risk factors may improve or decline over time, and you may need to adjust their payment terms accordingly.

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Export Finance: Why Does It Take So Long to Get Paid?

You have shipped your product, payment is due, and the buyer claims they have made payment. As far as you can see, however, nothing has happened.

Does this sound familiar? I hope not, but if it does, let’s take a look at what might be causing the delay.

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Two Alternatives to a Back-to-Back Letter of Credit

In one of my previous articles, I wrote about back-to-back letters of credit (LC) and how banks, particularly in the United States, just don’t have an appetite for that type of business. This article is going to discuss two alternative to using back-to-back LCs.

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Getting the Export Letter of Credit That You Want

In a previous article, I wrote about selecting the appropriate payment term for your export sales. Let’s just assume that you’ve gone through the process of evaluating both the buyer’s creditworthiness and the country risk, and after a lot of research you've decided that the letter of credit (LC) is the way to go. Great!

Of course you don’t want just any old letter of credit. You want an LC that will best suit your needs, and that includes terms and conditions with which you feel confident that you will be able to comply. The best way for this to happen is to tell the buyer how you would like them to issue the letter of credit.

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Deciding on Appropriate Export Payment Terms

An important part of an international sale is determining payment methods. The major options include cash in advance, collections, letters of credit or open account.

It can take a lot of time and effort to make this decision, but every minute you invest in this decision can mean the difference between money in the bank or writing off bad debt.

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A Second Alternative to a Back-to-Back Letter of Credit

My last article covered transferable letters of credit (LC) and how they may be a more acceptable alternative to a back-to-back letter of credit. This article is going to cover another alternative: an Assignment of Proceeds.

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Finding a Bank for a Back-to-Back Letter of Credit May Be Difficult

If you ever want to send a chill down the spine of your banker in the United States, just mention the phrase “back-to-back letters of credit.”

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Dealing with Discrepancies under Letters of Credit

Try as hard as you might, it is not uncommon to receive a call from your bank telling you that they have checked documents against your letter of credit (LC) and that discrepancies have been cited. If you’re an importer and you waive the discrepancy, either the payment process or the acceptance process will begin depending on the tenor of the draft.

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