Import services

Our import payment solutions are designed to help you have the best working relationship with your overseas suppliers. You receive your goods and your supplier gets paid.

Managing your risk

When making payments to your overseas supplier, you have a number of options. To choose the right option, you need to consider issues like the type and size of the transaction, how well you know your supplier, how much risk you’re willing to assume and how much risk your supplier will take on.

This table highlights the level of risk you can expect with each payment option.

With our Trade Finance you can apply for finance to cover payment for any goods you’re importing and have flexibility in negotiating favourable credit terms with your suppliers.

Find out more about our Trade Finance

Request our Guide to Importing

Import Documentary Letter of Credit

This is a conditional undertaking by Westpac to pay your supplier provided they meet the terms and conditions of the Documentary Letter of Credit. It gives the supplier the assurance that they will receive payment and you are able to receive goods securely from international suppliers.

It allows you to specify the payment terms and conditions, documentation to accompany the shipment and deadlines for shipment.

How does it work?

You specify documentation to accompany each shipment. You nominate the deadlines for shipment issued on a 'sight' or 'term' basis: sight means that drafts are drawn for immediate payment, term means that drafts are drawn on a term payment basis - e.g. 30 days after sight, 90 days from bill of lading.

We receive the documents from the seller's bank and check to ensure they comply with the terms and conditions of the credit. The documents will then be released to you for payment of goods. Internationally accepted rules apply as determined by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

What are the benefits?

This facility helps to:

  • provide a conditional guarantee of payment to your supplier (subject to terms being met)
  • establish credit worthiness with your supplier
  • control payment terms and conditions
Import Documentary Collection

As you and your trading partners develop a relationship of trust, an Import Documentary Collection may be appropriate. It is a facility for the collection of bills of exchange, documents and payment, or an agreement to pay the supplier at a future date. The difference is that the supplier has no guarantee of payment.

What are the benefits?

  • it gives you the security of knowing the goods have been shipped
  • it is a safer alternative to pre-payments
  •  it is more cost effective than documentary credits

How does it work?

We monitor the complete documentary collection process providing you with the security of knowing the goods have been shipped by the seller. When we receive the documents, we’ll get in touch with you straight away.  

The Import Documentary Collection is issued on a 'sight' or 'term' basis:

  • sight means that drafts are drawn for immediate payment
  • term means that drafts need to be accepted at the time of release of documents and are due for payment at a future date e.g. 30 days after sight, 90 days from bill of lading date
Open Account

If you have a well-established trading relationship and are very comfortable with your supplier, you might choose to trade on an ‘Open Account’ basis. Your supplier would also need to feel very confident that you will pay them on receipt of goods.

When trading on an Open Account basis, bank drafts and telegraphic transfers are common ways to make payments and manage your cashflow commitments.