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Bills of Lading (BOL) - The BOL – sometimes referred to as a “seaway bill” - is the transport waybill for a sea freight consignment. BOLs are conceptually one of the oldest mutually recognized forms of consignment tracking; traditionally seaborne trade was one of the few ways countries conducted official trade. The BOL states to whom and on what terms the goods are to be delivered at destination. Without an original BOL the goods will not be released. Modern BOLs are highly standardized, and BOLs generated by different shipping lines will look almost identical in layout. Many shipping companies will require BOLs even if the vessel is not moving between two different countries – the BOL also represents a contract between the vessel owner and the owner of the good being shipped.

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  • It affirms the contract of carriage and sets out the terms thereof. It is evidence of the contract between the consignor and the shipping line, and on the reverse details the conditions of carriage.
  • It is the carrier’s receipt for the carriage of goods by sea and is signed by the master or another duly authorised person on behalf of the ship owner, acknowledging receipt on board the ship of certain specified goods that he undertakes to deliver at a designated place.
  • Possession of the original BOL gives the title to the goods being carried. It is a negotiable document of title to the goods. The consignor must make sure considered good practice for the consignor to ensure that at least one original BOL reaches the consignee in good time ( since he the consingee will receive the goods only against presentation of at least one original BOL). The carrier usually establishes three original BOL, which are sent to the consignee under two separate registered mail.

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  • BOL

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Terms of the BOL:

There are three different entries possible in the box headed “consignee”:

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