What is a Bill of Lading?

The word lading is derived from the old-fashioned word “lade” which means loading of cargo onto the vessel or any other type of carrier. A bill of lading (commonly referred as BL, B/L, BoL in shipping industry) is a written declaration which highlights the nature and quantity of goods which were supposed to be shipped, it also contains the information about the destination of the shipment.

What Purpose Does A Bill Of Lading Serve?

A B/L is an authentic document that helps the carrier as well as the seller (exporter) to ensure the smooth movement of freight across different territories may it be by land/Ocean .
It is mandatory for all the consignments ( may that be by ocean or by land ) that they must have a complete, signed and dated bill of lading.

Why Is A Bill of Lading Important?

Here find the purposes of bill of lading:

Act as an Agreement
A B/L is an agreement of carriage between the carrier and consignee for import or export by ocean or land.As we already discussed, B/L contains the terms and conditions of transportation, it also serves as an evidence that shows the carrier has agreed to transport the freight to the final destination respecting the agreement between the seller or buyer.

Shipping Receipt:
B/L serves as proof that the seller conveyed the freight in a good condition to the carrier At the point of origin. 
According to contractual terms the carrier confirmed receipt of goods on board their cargo vessels in good condition.

A document of title:
A B/L becomes a title to the goods. When the consignment is its destination, it is important to show the bill to secure The release of the freight from the Carrier. We may also say that the BL is the only way to gain containment.

Please Find a Few Other Purposes of Bill of Lading

Who Issues A Bill Of Lading?

All bills of lading contain the same information about the consignment, it can be issued by a cargo agent, freight forwarder or a NVOCC intermediaries.

Type of bill of lading  

There are three different kinds of B/L. It will prevent problems and misunderstandings during shipping by knowing which type applies to your shipment. 
Below given points are those which may affect the type of B/L you needed
The issuer of the BL.
Document purpose.
Buyer & Seller relationship.
Protection offered to buyers by it.
In case you are using a freight forwarder or other shipping intermediary to Manager your shipment l, there’s going to be 2 set of B/L’s, which we have elaborated below:
Matter Bill of Lading (MBL): This B/L is issued by shipping carriers to the freight forwarder or to the NVOCC or to the shipping agent. It works as an agreement of carriers and receipt of delivery to the carrier. BL Numbers are shared between forwarders and shippers for tracking purposes, as it will help to determine the status of the consignment.
House Bill of Lading (BL): this one is issued to the exporter of goods by the intermediaries. When this BL is issued to the exporter, the confirmation from the exporter’s side is supposed to come regarding the weight or dimension of the freight.

Type of Bill of Lading 

Below we are providing your list of types of bill of lading with little description:

Original Bill of Lading
This is topically issued in the state of three. Till the time any one of the below given condition is not meat exporter has to take care of original BL:
1.) Receiving the Payment (Seller’s point of view)
2.) Acceptance of bill of exchange (seller’s point of view)
3.) Assurance of payment (seller’s point of view) 

Telex Release Bill of Lading
This is a digitized form of original bill of lading. It helps in speeding up the process of shipping and custom clearance process.

Express Bill of Lading
This one is also known as express release, express BL, sea way-bill and Straight bill of lading. When there is an express bill of lading there is no need for hardcopy to be issued a bill of lading,  as it is also a digitized form of the same. But here we may suggest that express BL’s should be issued only when there is a good relationship between the shipper and the consignee.

Switch bill of lading
This replaces the original bill of lading, this is not issued by the carrier.  It follows the same format and offers the same purpose as the original one. Below we have listed the point which shows when they are needed: 
1.) When there is a need to change the port of discharge. A possible reason for this is the sale of the freight during transit.
2.) Buyer and shipper wants to keep the identity of the supplier hidden from one another. This secures the chances of buyers directly approaching the supplier in the future.
3.) Consignee initially shipped the goods on a separate bill of lading and now wishes to consolidate everything into one.
4.) Buyer requests a separate bill of lading after consignment was originally shipped on one bill of lading.

Cargo shipping companies

To Know More

  • Import/Export, cargo mode: Air, sea, and by land.
  • Routine shipment, home consumption (duties paid)
  • Ex-Bond/In-Bond shipment
  • Shipments of DEPB, EPCG, and DFCEC licenses
  • 100% EOU / STPI / SEZ / TP for ship spares / R&D certification / passbook scheme
  • Import clearance for a project
  • Direct deliver perishables and certain cargo
  • Re-import after repairs / exhibition
  • Clearance of third-country exports
  • ATA carnet clearance
  • Second-hand capital goods
  • Free-of-charges shipments
  • Courier clearance
  • Door to door delivery

There are certain certificates that you must obtain from the concerned departments regarding the following items:

  • Registration From Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) (For Food/Edible Import Consignments)
  • Animal Quarantine Certificate (A&Q) Required import in india (For animal, animal parts, animal feed, etc. )
  • Plant and Protection Quarantine Certificate/ import permit plus Fumigation treatment Certificate are required for the import of plant material (For seeds, plant and plant thereof)
  • Drug & Cosmetics Act, 1940, No-objection Certificate (NOC) from Assistant Drug Controller(ADC) (is mandatory for the import of drugs/bulk drugs, etc.)
  • BIS, Bureau of Indian Standards BIS is responsible for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto
  • EPR, Extended Producer’s Responsibility With EPR India authorization, the manufacturer / importer of electronic and electrical products has been given the responsibility to control E-waste by the products after expiry of their lifetime.
  • WPC, Wireless Planning & Coordination Imports of radio equipment into India, without prior permission from WPC, will be confiscated by Customs at point of entry.
  • LMPC, Legal Metrology & Packaged Commodity Registration  For import of any pre-packed commodities commodity to distribute or sell Then he need to apply for packer / manufacturer registration

Legal, Standard and Specific Documents Required

  1. Commercial Invoice
  2. Packing list
  3. KYC Documents Required by The CHA for Custom Clearance.
  4. GST (LUT)/ IGST declaration
  5. Export License (If required)
  6. AD Code on (Bank Letter Head)
  7. MSME Certificate (If required)
  8. RCMC/EPC Certificate (If required)
  9. AA (DEEC)/ DFIA/ EPCG/ EOU License For Export Benefits (incentive) (As an option the Exporter may Choose)
  10. Any other Documents required to in this Consignment.

Certificates From The Concerned Departments

In relation to the following items you will need to obtain certain certificates from the concern department, which we have provided you  below :

  1. Registration From Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) (For Food/Edible Import Consignments) (if required)
  2. Plant and Protection Quarantine Certificate/ import permit plus Fumigation treatment Certificate are required for the import of plant material (For seeds, plant and plant thereof) (if required)
  3. Animal Quarantine Certificate (A&Q) Required import in india (For animal, animal parts, animal feed, etc. ) (if required)
  4. CDRUG – ADC Assistant Drug Controller(ADC) (is mandatory for the import of drugs/bulk drugs, etc.) (if required)
  5. SCOMET – Special Chemical organism, material Equipment, Technology.
  6. PSI – Pre Shipments Inspection. (if required)
  7. Certificate of origin.
  8. APEDA – Agriculture and processed food products Export development authority.
  9. FUMIGATION (if required)
  10. WILD LIFE (if required)
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