Here is a brief overview of various finance options for imports in Singapore.
Import financing is a kind of short-term finance offered by the bank to the importer according to his demand upon receiving the bills under the letter of credit and the import collection items.
Import Finance in Singapore can be categorized as:
1. Letter of Credit
Letter Of Credit (LC) is a written promise by an Issuing Bank to make payment to a beneficiary (Exporter) either immediately or within a specified period.
The different types of LC's are:
(a) Sight Credit : It allows beneficiary to receive payment immediately upon presentation of documents called for under the LC.
(b) Term Credit: Beneficiary receives payment upon maturity of a draft drawn under the terms of the credit.
(c) Shipping and Airway Guarantees: They are Bank Indemnities given to the Carrier of Goods, so that the goods can be released to Importer before arrival of Bills of Lading or AirWay Bill.
2. Inward Bills for Collection
It is a process wherein an exporter collects payment from the importer using the banks as trusted 3rd parties without creating an LC. The exporter states conditions for release of documents to the importer and sends the shipping documents to its bank, which then forwards the documents to the importer's bank. The conditions can be D/P (Documents against Payment) or D/A (Documents against Acceptance).
3. Trust Receipt/ Bills Receivable (Purchase) Financing
A Trust Receipt is a document prepared by a bank and signed for by the importer. It facilitates short-term financing for the importer, which allows him/her to obtain the goods without first settling the payments due under an LC arrangement.
A Bill Receivable (Purchase) is also a form of short-term import financing. However, it is used when the shipping documents are legally ineligible as Trust Receipt to the bank (e.g. Incomplete sets of BLs consigned to the importer instead of to the bank).