Lost Bill Of Lading
What Is A Bill Of Lading
Lost, Destroyed or Stolen
What To Do If Lost
Lost original bill of lading
The thought of losing an original bill of lading can be distressing for anyone directly involved in international
trade. While there is hope, prevention is better than cure.
What is a bill of lading?
When it comes to international trade, an original bill of lading is one of the most important documents for
shippers and consignees. Issued by a carrier, it specifies consignment title and is used to guarantee receipt of goods for importers
and payment for exporters. Sometimes abbreviated as B/L or BoL, a bill of lading is a legal document that additionally catalogues
contract terms and conditions for the sale and purchase of merchandise.
Lost, destroyed or stolen
An original bill of lading facilitates
delivery of goods to the consignee at the destination port. Should the document be lost, destroyed or stolen, there are ways to resolve
- though prevention is better than cure. For anyone unfortunate enough to experience the distress of losing the original bill of lading,
their consignment may be liable for additional fees and charges (i.e. detention, demurrage, bank guarantee, etc.).
laws, regulations and carrier specific requirements may vary. Please check with your carrier or freight forwarder for further information
Safeguard your original bill of lading
The following are a few tips to help protect your original bill of lading from
Before the original bill of lading is produced, carriers issue drafts to shippers which can be amended and refined. While such
copies won't be legally admissible, filing these documents is wise as they contain important consignment information which can be
referenced later if required.
Carriers typically issue a set of three original bill of ladings. It is prudent for shippers to retain
any excess copies if not required by third-parties and the consignee.
When issued, the shipper should double-check to ensure they have
received all original copies.
Use a reputable courier to send documents which offers tracking and 'signature required' services.
terms of sale allow, utilise telex release services which are available through either the carrier or your freight forwarder.
to do if an original bill of lading is lost?
Whether it is a simple case of misfiling or the result of something more sinister (i.e.
stolen), there are some steps you can take to resolve a missing original bill of lading.
If lost in transit, use your courier reference
number to track the documents. This will pinpoint the location of your mail and if it was signed upon receipt.
Contact your freight
forwarder to inform them of the loss. Their thorough industry knowledge and experience will be an invaluable resource throughout.
to the carrier's policy, some international transporters may still accept a bill of lading if one of a set of three is missing.
institutions can provide a letter of indemnity, indemnifying carriers (if approved) from liability for the release of goods to the
consignee. In such instances, the original bill of lading must be returned to the carrier if found.
There are other ways to complete
cargo delivery if a bill of lading is missing. Speak to your carrier or freight forwarder for more information.