What is a Bill of Lading?

The Bill of Lading is a key document for all international transactions carried out by sea. Also called B/L, the Bill of Lading is a document issued by the shipping company that is in charge of the transportation of the goods.

This document is important for the importer and the exporter because it specifies that the goods have been loaded by the carrier and that the carrier takes legal responsibility for the goods. In addition to being a transport document, it is a title deed for the goods from the port of shipment to the port of arrival.

What does the Bill of Lading contain?

The Bill of Lading contains a lot of information about the transport but also about the goods. Here are the details of the Bill of Lading container:

The players involved :

  • The exporter: the company selling or sending the goods.
  • The importer: the company buying or receiving the goods.
  • The carrier: the logistics company in charge of transporting the goods.

Transportation information:

  • Name of the vessel carrying the goods
  • The unique number of the Bill of Lading.
  • Port of departure and port of destination.
  • Unique voyage number.

The elements concerning the transport:

  • All information about the goods: type, quantity, weight and volume of the goods.
  • The type of container used to transport the goods and the type of packaging.
  • The product class of the goods: class of dangerous products.

What is a Bill of Lading for ?

It designates the receipt of the goods by the carrier of the goods. For the importer, it is a proof that the goods have been sent by the exporter.

It is a title deed during the transport that answers legal and responsibility issues on the ownership of the goods.

Who can issue a Bill of Lading?

The company in charge of the transport of the goods is the only company that can issue a Bill of Lading. The carrier is the Carrier (Ex: CGA CGM, Maersk, etc.), it is the company owning the vessel. A forwarder cannot issue a Bill of Lading.

Tulyp is a FinTech specialized in Trade Finance. The Tulyp solution supports international trade actors on their payment guarantees, financing, and liquidity issues. If you have any questions you can contact us, one of our experts will contact you within 24 hours.

When exporting or importing goods, it is important to be aware of the customs and freight procedures to be followed.

For all international trade transactions, there are documents that must be provided to facilitate the clearance of the goods at the port of departure and at the port of arrival. Depending on the method of transportation used, the documents may vary, but certain documents remain standard for every international transaction.

Here is a list of standard documents to be presented for a smooth transport:

Commercial documents :

  • Commercial transport invoice: this document is important because it contains obligatory information for the transport: descriptions of the loaded goods, the price of the cargo, and the value of the loaded goods.
  • The packing list: this export document is very important for export clearance. It contains the information related to the goods during the export clearance: size, gross & net weight of the goods and number of units present. This exhaustive list of information is important for the export clearance but also for the importer because it is him who will pay the penalties in case of false or incomplete information.
  • Certificate of origin: It is a customs document that certifies the origin of a good, more precisely, its country of manufacture. It is issued and authenticated by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry: they verify the information filled in and impose a conformity visa.

Shipping documents :

  • Bill of Lading: The Bill of Lading also called the Airway bill for air transport, Rail waybill for air transport, and Roadway bill for road transport, are important documents for the importer or exporter in an international transaction.These documents are issued by the carrier designated for the transportation of the goods, they specify that the goods have been loaded by the carrier and are on their way to the buyer.

Tulyp is a FinTech specialized in Trade Finance. The Tulyp solution supports international trade actors on their payment guarantees, financing, and liquidity issues. If you have any questions you can contact us, one of our experts will contact you within 24 hours.