Import/Export Documentary Services

Streamline trade transactions from start to finish

Accelerate your international trade activities using our documentary services.

Import and export goods quickly and efficiently

As an importer, your goal is to receive your goods to specification, on time, with no delays. Exporters want to get paid as quickly as possible. BB&T Documentary Trade offers everything you need to expedite both sides of the trade transaction.

Letters of credit

BB&T can help you expedite international trade transactions with letters of credit (LCs) that will ensure the payment from buyer to seller will be received on time and for the correct amount.

  • Import letters of credit – When importing goods, you may need a financial institution to issue an import LC on your behalf. This shifts payment responsibility to the issuing financial institution, as long as the supplier meets the terms of the LC.
  • Export letters of credit – When exporting goods, require the buyer to provide an export LC to ensure you'll receive payment in a timely manner. We can serve as the advising or confirming bank for your export LCs and offer guidance on the terms of the LC, which can help minimize nonpayment due to certain risks.
  • International standby letters of credit – Importers and exporters can use an international standby LC to guarantee payment and ensure the applicant meets the obligations in the contract between the buyer and seller. We have expertise in understanding when to use standby LCs and how to structure them.

Documentary collections

When trading with international partners that don't require the protection of a letter of credit, you're relying on commercial documentation to ensure that goods and payment will be received as promised.

We can provide documentary collection services, through which:

  • The seller's bank communicates instructions directly to the buyer's bank to release the commercial documents against payment or the acceptance of a time draft drawn on the buyer
  • Documents are only released to the buyer after payment has been made or payment undertaking has been given
  • The buyer and seller can avoid costly delays that may arise from any miscommunication

Manage transactions online

For added convenience, use our state-of-the-art web portal, TradeAssist(opens in a new tab), to manage all of your import / export / standby LCs and import / export documentary collections. TradeAssist allows you to initiate transactions, receive or respond to notifications, track status, view payment details and offers robust reporting capabilities in a safe and secure environment.

Simple and secure access to your transactions

Take advantage of the cost savings and efficiency that you gain when using our TradeAssist documentary trade service system. TradeAssist allows you to manage your LCs and documentary collections in a secure online environment.

Log on to TradeAssist(opens in a new tab)

Ready to get started?

By phone

Corporate clients, call 800-240-2147.

Retail clients, call 866-228-4685.

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Branch Banking and Trust Company, Member FDIC.

New York City residents: Translation or other language access services may be available. When calling our office regarding collection activity, if you speak a language other than English and need verbal translation services, be sure to inform the representative. A description and translation of commonly-used debt collection terms is available in multiple languages at

Branch Banking and Trust Company is now Truist Bank. Learn more.

BB&T and SunTrust have merged to become Truist. Both institutions will continue to offer independent product lines for a period of time. This may include differing underwriting guidelines, product features, terms, fees and pricing. Our friendly teammates at your local SunTrust branches will be happy to walk you through their respective products. You can also learn more by contacting them at 800-SUNTRUST or

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