Transport Documents

Sea Transport

The Marine Bill of Lading

This document is for ocean shipments. By issuing it, the captain of a ship, or his agent acknowledge that they have received the aforementioned goods, and are engaged to transport them, under the agreed conditions and deliver them to the specified location in accordance with the instructions, in return for payment. The bill of lading is denoted by the fulfillment of a transport contract. It legalises the delivery and therefore the ownership of the goods at destination. In this way, it is a functional support to the transport contract, also as a document defining the ownership of the goods.

The BL can be:

  • payable to: transferred by single endorsement. It is the most commonly used method, in particular with documentary credit;
  • straight: the document becomes non-negotiable;
  • on board: it confirms the loading of the merchandise at the date of signature;
  • received for shipment: it is proof of the goods having been received and not the eventual shipment;
  • clean: it certifies the goods have been received in good apparent state;
  • dirty: reservations added by the company on the quantity or state of the merchandise diminish the carrier’s responsibility.

The Multimodal Transport Document

This consists of a transport document, incorporating at least two modes of transport. The category includes combined transport bills or CTBL (Combined Transport Bill of Lading). This document covers combined transport in which the principle method is by ship.

Air transport

The document used is the air consignment note (ACN) or the House Air Way Bill. If it is used for a small quantity shipment, the Air Way Bill (AWB) is made out by the airline’s agent. In the case of a groupage shipment, the House Air Way Bill is produced by the air freight grouping agent.

The AWB is the proof of the transport contract, the proof that the merchandise is in hold and the supporting proof of the price simultaneously. Nevertheless, the bill is non-negotiable. The AWB only certifies the shipment when the company has written on it the date and flight number.

Air Transport is regulated b y the Warsaw Convention of October 12, 1929. The “International Air Transport Association” (IATA) has drawn up a model AWB which conforms to the regulations set out in this convention.

Road transport

The document used is the Consignment note (CMR). It confirms the goods held are in good condition if it is free of reservations, and the shipment from the carrier’s signature. It is the materialisation of a transport contract for goods which remain independent of it. It has to be made out corresponding to the template given in the: “Convention relating to the International road consignment note”. (CMR)

Rail transport

The document in question is the Rail consignment note (CIM). This is made out by the sender and the company. It becomes the transport contract from the moment the rail company agrees to transport the merchandise. This acceptance is certified by attaching a date stamp, from the station of dispatch to the consignment note. This note must be made out corresponding to the guideline given in the: “International Convention relating to the transportation of goods by rail” (CIM).

Inland Waterways transport

Deliveries by waterway are documented by:

  • either a Consignment Note (as for road transport) and confirmation of holding by the carrier;

or an inland waterway bill of lading, a document which is related to the marine bill of lading because it is negotiable if required and is conveyed by a single endorsement.

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