Knowledge About Bill of Lading

What is a bill of lading?

The bill of lading (BILL OF LADING–B/L) is a receipt of goods (RECEIPT OF GOODS) issued by the carrier or its agent at the request of the shipper, which is issued after the goods have been taken into their care to prove that the bill of lading has been received The goods listed above are also proof of the contract of transport signed by the carrier.

The bill of lading also represents the ownership of the goods contained in it, which is a kind of document of title of goods (DOCUMENT OF TITLE).

The holder of the bill of lading can pick up the goods on this basis, or on the basis of this to the bank, and can also transfer the cargo before the cargo ship arrives at the port of destination; it is the proof of the contract of carriage between the carrier and the shipper. 

Types of ocean bill of lading

Ocean bills of lading can be divided into the following categories according to various specific needs:

  1. According to whether the goods are on board or not, it can be divided into “on board bill of lading” and “prepared bill of lading”. “Ship bill of lading” refers to the bill of lading issued after the shipping company has loaded the goods on the designated ship; “prepared bill of lading” refers to the bill of lading issued while the shipping company has received the designated goods and is waiting for the goods to be shipped.
  2. According to whether the bill of lading has bad remarks, it is divided into “clean bill of lading” and “unclean bill of lading”. “Clean bill of lading” is a bill of lading that is not marked on the bill of lading about damaged or poorly packaged goods; “unclean bill of lading” refers to a bill of lading that states that the surface condition of the goods is damaged or poorly packaged, etc. In international trade settlement, the bank only accepts “clean bill of lading”, that is, the carrier does not endorse any unfavorable conditions on the bill of lading.
  3. According to whether the bill of lading can be circulated, that is, according to the written content in the “consignee” column of the bill of lading as “registered bill of lading” and “instruction bill of lading”. The “registered bill of lading” is to indicate the designated consignee on the title of the bill of lading. This kind of bill of lading is not transferable and can only be picked up by the consignee indicated on the bill of lading; the instruction bill of lading is divided into bearer instructions and registered instructions : The unregistered instruction bill of lading only fills in “To order” (by designation), and it must be endorsed by the shipper before it can be transferred, also known as “blank header”. Fill in “To the order of…” for the registered instruction bill of lading (appointed by XX), and the XX is the specific instructor, and the bill of lading can be transferred after endorsement by him, usually a trusted bank; endorsement can be divided into two forms: One type is simply signed by the authorized endorser and is called a blank endorsement; the other type, in addition to the signature of the endorser, and the name of the endorser (transferee), is called a registered endorsement. In international trade, “blank endorsement of bill of lading based on instructions” is usually used. It is customary to call “blank title, blank endorsement”.
  4. According to the mode of transportation, it is divided into “direct bill of lading”, “transit bill of lading” and “through bill of lading”. A “direct bill of lading” refers to a bill of lading that is directly delivered to a designated port without changing ships; a “transit bill of lading” is a bill of lading that is transported by at least two ships during the freight process. That is, a bill of lading that the ship at the port of shipment does not arrive at the designated port of delivery and is unloaded midway and handed over to another ship for continued transportation; a “through bill of lading” is a bill of lading that is used to transport goods through two or more modes of transportation and is issued by the first-haul carrier , Including the whole way and the waybill that can be picked up at the destination port. The issuer of the through bill of lading is only responsible for the first carriage.
  5. According to the content of the bill of lading, it is divided into “full bill of lading” and “abbreviated bill of lading”. “Overall bill of lading”, also known as complex bill of lading, is a bill of lading that specifies the respective rights and obligations between the carrier and the shipper on the back of the bill of lading; the “abbreviated bill of lading” only indicates the basic information of the cargo and the shipper The name, address, consignee and other basic information of the bill of lading.
  6. The “intermodal bill of lading” is limited to two or more modes of transportation. Its use is similar to the “intermodal bill of lading in the mode of transportation” mentioned in the fourth point.
  7. According to the validity of the bill of lading, it is divided into the original bill of lading and the duplicate bill of lading: the original bill of lading (Original B/L) refers to the bill of lading with the signature and seal of the carrier, the captain or its agent and indicating the date of issuance on the bill of lading. Must be marked with the words “original”; in the payment of goods, the bank and the buyer only accept the original bill of lading. A copy of the bill of lading (Copy B/L) refers to a bill of lading that is not signed and sealed by the carrier, the captain or its agent, and is only for reference at work. On the duplicate bill of lading, the words “copy” or “non-negotiable” are generally used to show that it is different from the original bill of lading.

 

Fill in the front of the ocean bill of lading and matters needing attention

1. Generally, the following items should be recorded on the front of the bill of lading:

The name, mark, number of packages or pieces, weight or volume of the goods, and a description of the nature of the danger when transporting dangerous goods.

  • The name of the carrier and the principal place of business.
  • The name of the ship.
  • Shipper’s name
  • The name of the consignee.
  • The port of loading and the date the goods were accepted at the port of loading.
  • Port of discharge.
  • The multimodal transport bill of lading adds the place of receiving goods and the place of document goods.
  • The date, place and number of copies of the bill of lading.
  • Payment of freight.
  • The carrier or its representative.

2. Matters needing attention:

  • The shipper is generally the beneficiary in the letter of credit. If the issuer requires a third party bill of lading (THIRDPARTY B/L) for trade needs, it can also do so.

 

  • Consignee, if a registered bill of lading is required, you can fill in the specific consignee company or

 

  • The name of the consignee; if it is an instruction bill of lading, fill in “instruction” (ORDER) or “to order” (TO ORDER); if you need to list the instruction on the bill of lading, you can create “on the shipper” according to different requirements Instructions “(TOsgroupsOF SHIPPER), “by the consignee’s instructions” (TOsgroupsOF CONSIGNEE) or “by the bank instructions” (TOsgroupsOF XX BANK).

 

  • Notified party, this is the recipient of the arrival notice sent by the shipping company when the goods arrive at the port of destination, sometimes the importer. For the bill of lading under the letter of credit, if the letter of credit has the right to specify the bill of lading to be notified, it must be filled out in strict accordance with the requirements of the letter of credit. If it is a registered bill of lading or a bill of lading instructed by the consignee, and the consignee has a detailed address, this column can be omitted. If it is a blank instruction bill of lading or shipper instruction bill of lading, the name and detailed address of the notified party must be filled in this column, otherwise the ship will not be able to contact the consignee, and the consignee will not be able to declare and pick up the goods in time, or even exceed customs regulations. The reporting time was confiscated.

 

  • The bill of lading number (B/L NO) is generally listed in the upper right corner of the bill of lading to facilitate work contact and verification. When the shipper sends a shipping notice (SHIPMENT ADVICE) to the consignee, the ship name and bill of lading number should also be listed.

 

  • The name of the ship (NAME OF VESSEL), should fill in the name of the ship and the number of voyage on which the cargo is loaded.

 

  • PORT OF LOADING, the specific name of the actual port of loading should be filled in.

 

  • PORT OF DISCHARGE, fill in the name of the port where the goods are actually discharged. In the case of transshipment, the port of unloading on the first voyage bill of lading should be filled in with the port of transhipment, and the consignee should be filled in with the second shipping company; the loading port of the second haul bill of lading should be filled in the above transshipment port, and the port of discharge should be filled in as the last port of destination. If the voyage company issues a THROUGH B/L, the final port of destination can be filled at the port of unloading. The first and second voyage ship names are listed on the bill of lading. For transshipment via a port, the words “VIA X X” must be displayed. When using container transportation, the “COMBINED TRANSPORT B/L” (COMBINED TRANSPORT B/L) is currently used. In addition to the port of loading and the port of discharge, the bill of lading must also specify the “place of receipt” (PLACE OF RECEIPT). “Place of delivery” (PLACE OF DELIVERY) and “PRE-CARRIAGE BY” (PRE-CARRIAGE BY), “Ocean Vessel Name and Voyage” (OCEAN VESSEL, VOY NO). Fill in the port of discharge, but also pay attention to the port of the same name. If it is a selected port bill of lading, it must be indicated in this column.

 

  • The name of the goods (DISCRIPTION OF GOODS), the name of the goods under the letter of credit must be consistent with the provisions on the letter of credit.

 

  • NUMBER AND KIND OF PACKAGES should be listed according to the actual packaging of the box.

 

  • SHIPPING MARKS. If there are provisions in the letter of credit, they must be filled out according to the regulations, otherwise they can be filled out according to the marks on the invoice.

 

  • Gross weight, size (GROSS WEIGHT, MEASUREMENT), unless otherwise specified in the letter of credit, the gross weight of the goods is generally listed in kilograms, and the volume of the goods is listed in cubic meters.

 

  • Freight and charges, generally prepaid (FREIGHT PREPAID) or paid (FREIGHT COLLECT). Such as CIF or CFR export, generally fill in the freight prepaid words, do not miss it, otherwise the consignee will not be able to pick up the goods due to freight issues, although the situation can be checked, but the delay in delivery time will also cause losses. If it is a FOB export, the freight can be marked “Freight Collect” unless the consignee entrusts the consignor to advance the freight.

 

  • Issuance, date and number of bills of lading: The bill of lading must be issued by the carrier or captain or their agent, and the identity of the issuer should be clearly indicated. The general representation methods are: CARRIER, CAPTAIN, or “AS AGENT FOR THE CARRIER: XXX” etc. The number of copies of the bill of lading is generally issued according to the requirements of the letter of credit, such as “FULL SET OF”, which is generally understood as three originals and several copies. After one of the originals has completed the delivery task, the remaining copies will become invalid. The bill of lading is also a necessary document for the settlement of foreign exchange, especially when the documentary credit is used to settle the foreign exchange, the bank requires that the documents provided must be consistent, so the date on the bill of lading must be consistent with the final shipment date required by the credit or contract. Prior to the loading period. If the seller estimates that the goods cannot be loaded on the ship before the loading date of the letter of credit, the buyer should be notified as soon as possible to request modification of the letter of credit, and should not be used to obtain payment by fraudulent acts such as “backdated bills of lading” and “advanced bills of lading”.