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Documentary collections

A documentary collection is a trade transaction in which the exporter hands over to the bank the task of collecting payment for goods. The bank sends the shipping documents to the importer's bank together with payment instructions.

Relevant export documents, together with an appropriate bill of exchange (or other financial instruments), are forwarded by the exporter’s bank in accordance with the exporter's instructions to the importer’s bank for presentation to the importer.

The export documents are released to the importer against payment (known as documents against payment) or acceptance of the bill of exchange (known as a documents against acceptance) and payment is made to the exporter on receipt of proceeds.

Optimising business performance

Benefits for exporters

  • The exporter retains control over the goods until payment or a 'promise to pay' is received. This makes documentary collections a more secure way for an exporter to ensure payment compared to open account trading, which is where the exporter is not paid until after the importer has received the goods, or in many cases, on-sold the goods.
  • Collections is a method pf payment used primarily by the exporter and importer who have a strong trading relationship and are looking to reduce the costs associated with the processing of documents (when compared with the cost of processing documentary credits).
  • An exporter may also be able to obtain post-shipment financing using a Bills Negotiated Not Under Credit facility (BNNUCr) before payment is made by the importer under the documentary collection.

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