Why an import letter of credit?

  • Takes away the risk of paying offshore suppliers before delivery — you can be more confident that you’ll get what you’ve ordered.

  • We guarantee payment — so your supplier knows they’re going to get paid for what they ship.

How it works

An import letter of credit is issued by Kiwibank on your behalf. It’s a guarantee that we’ll pay your supplier for their goods once they send us documents proving that they’ve shipped the goods.

The documents could be:

  • commerical invoices showing the goods supplied and the price
  • packing lists showing details of how the goods are packed
  • a bill of lading that shows the goods have been loaded on a ship offshore — and are bound for the correct port in New Zealand
  • documents showing that the goods are insured for the journey.

The letter of credit is binding. We’re committed to making the payment on an agreed date once we receive the documents — so you are, too.

The payment date can be:

  • as soon as we receive the documents
  • a date agreed by you and the supplier — either after the documents arrive, or after the boat carrying the goods leaves port.

The letter of credit is issued to the supplier’s bank electronically.

When you organise your letter of credit, you'll have to satisfy our lending criteria and we'll give you a facility limit. You can then arrange future letters of credit up to this limit.

What it costs

For pricing, please email our Trade Finance Team at tradefinance@kiwibank.co.nz.