From an #importer’s perspective, the international payment methods rank in terms of the most secure to the least secure are: Open account, documents against acceptance, documents against payment advised letter of credit, confirmed letter of credit, and cash in advance.
From an #exporter’s perspective, the most commonly used international payment methods rank in terms of the most secure to the least secure are: Cash in advance, confirmed letter of credit, advised letter of credit, documents against payment, documents against acceptance, and open account.
Escrow is a method to secure payment
An Escrow Agent or Escrow Lawyer is a trusted third party, who ensures a safe, efficient and quick method of buying and selling products and services on an International basis.
The Escrow Agent or Escrow Lawyer will accept funds into the escrow account from the ‘Buyer’ and confirm to the ‘Seller’ that the funds are held pending delivery or confirmed shipment of the goods, or in the case of a financial transaction, an approved Bank to Bank verification by Swift.
What is an Escrow Agreement? An Escrow agreement is a document agreeing terms between a buyer and seller. Once the terms of a transaction are confirmed between the parties, neither party can change the terms of the agreement without both parties agreeing in writing. This effectively prevents either the buyer or seller changing the agreement for some commercial advantage. Once the Escrow Agreement has been signed by both parties the transaction can go ahead quickly, safely and efficiently
Why do I not just use letters of credit? Letters of credit have always been the usual method of transacting International trade. However, complications can and do arise. International Banks can be difficult to deal with. Your Companies credit rating may prevent a Bank providing your business with the necessary facilities. Your Company may be recently formed with no ‘track record’ or you may be dealing in countries and Banks that are not sufficiently well rated to ensure a successful Letter of Credit transaction.
Under these circumstances an Escrow agreement is an ideal solution. You do not have to expose yourself or your Company to scrutiny by your Bank. No credit score is required and no Bank references are required. If you wish to use our Escrow using a letter of credit we can assist you. Please contact us for further Information.
Can the agreement contain other conditions? Yes, for instance the parties may decide that the funds can be dispersed by the Escrow agent once the car has been delivered to an agreed shipping agent. The shipping agent will confirm to the Escrow agent in writing that he has the vehicle and will ship the vehicle upon the Escrow agent’s instructions.
Can I put whatever instructions I like into the Escrow agreement? The answer is whatever is agreed in writing by the parties to the agreement can and will be part of the Escrow agreement.
Can the Escrow agent act or take further instructions from either party once the Escrow agreement has been signed? No, the Escrow agreement will be legally binding. The only way in which conditions may be changed will be by the written consent of both parties. If the conditions of the agreement need to be changed a new Escrow agreement will need to be put in place.
Where will the funds and title documentation be held? The Agent / law firm use a number of top International Banks, and also small and medium Banks. Your funds and documentation will always be safe under the control of the Escrow Lawyer.
What happens to my money when it’s in the Escrow Bank account and do I receive interest? Your funds are not used in anyway. We are acting as a trusted third party. It would be wrong and illegal for us to use or invest your funds. No interest is paid. The funds are held in a non interest bearing account.
Which are the fees for an escrow service?
Transaction fees are, in general, a total of 2% plus nominal Bank charges. It is usual that the Escrow fees are paid 1% by the buyer and 1% by the seller. This is very reasonable compared to the peace of mind our clients get from using our services and the high cost and inconvenience of Bank Letters of Credit.