Why might a shipper offer a letter of indemnity in the case in the previous question?

Because the rigid adherence of banks to the terms of letters of credit will make it impossible for the shipper to receive payment on presentation of bills of lading that were anything other than “clean”.

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What is an acceptable letter of indemnity?

What should a master do if asked to accept a letter of indemnity in return for signing “clean” bills of lading, when these were not justified?