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Do You Know The Function Of Bill Of Lading?

Bill of lading: a document certifying that the contract of carriage of goods by sea and the goods have been accepted or shipped by the carrier, and that the carrier undertakes to deliver the goods thereunder.

(art. 71 of the maritime code) The abbreviation of bill of lading is B/L.In foreign trade, a document issued by a transport department to a consignor (either an exporter or a forwarder) while carrying the goods.The consignee will take the goods to the shipping department of the destination by the bill of lading (if the consignee has a small order, it needs to exchange the master order with the domestic freight forwarder).The bill of lading shall become effective only after being signed by the carrier or the ship. D/O is one of the valid documents for customs declaration of sea cargo.

Marine Bill of Lading or Ocean Bill of Lading, or simply Bill of Lading, B/L, is one of the most important documents in international settlement.The Hamburg rules define the bill of lading as:Bill of lading, means a document which evidences a contract of carriage by sea and the taking over or loading of the goods by the carrier, and by which the carrier undertakes to deliver the goods against surrender of the document. A provision in the document that the goods are to be delivered to the order of a named person, or to order, or to bearer, constitutes such an undertaking.Article 71 of the maritime law of the People's Republic of China, which came into force on July 1, 1993, states: "bill of lading is a document evidencing that the contract of carriage of goods by sea and that the goods have been received or shipped by the carrier, and that the carrier undertakes to deliver the goods thereunder.The terms and conditions specified in the bill of lading for the delivery of the goods to the named person, or to the person instructed to do so, or to the holder of the bill of lading, constitute the carrier's guarantee of the delivery of the goods."

Bill of lading has the following three main functions:

1. Goods receipt
The bill of lading has the function of cargo receipt for shippers who deliver the goods to the carrier for carriage.The carrier is not only obliged to issue the bill of lading for the goods on board.And according to the requirement of the shipper, the carrier has the obligation to issue a bill of lading called "bill of lading to be delivered", even if the goods have not yet been shipped, as long as the goods are under the control of the carrier.Therefore, once the bill of lading is issued by the carrier, it means that the carrier has loaded the goods onto the ship or has confirmed the takeover.The bill of lading, as a receipt of goods, not only certifies the type, quantity, mark, appearance of the goods, but also the time of receipt of the goods, i.e. the time of shipment.Originally, the issue of the bill of lading should be able to prove that the goods and the condition of the goods received, not necessarily that the goods have been shipped.However, loading the goods on board symbolizes that the seller delivers the goods to the buyer, so loading time means the seller's delivery time.Timely delivery is a necessary condition for the performance of the contract. Therefore, it is very important to use the bill of lading to prove the shipment time of the goods.

2. Document of title
The bill of lading has the function of document of title to the holder who legally obtains the bill of lading.The legitimate holder of the bill of lading is entitled to receive the goods at the port of destination in exchange for the bill of lading intersection.As long as the carrier delivers the goods by bill of lading in good faith, even if the holder is not the real owner, the carrier is not responsible.And, unless specified in the bill of lading, the bill of lading may be assigned to a third party without the consent of the carrier.The transfer of bill of lading means the transfer of property rights, continuous endorsement can be transferred.The lawful assignee or holder of the bill of lading is the lawful holder of the goods specified in the bill of lading.The property rights represented by the bill of lading can be transferred with the bill of lading, and the rights and obligations specified in the bill of lading can also be transferred with the bill of lading.Even if the goods are damaged or lost during transportation, the risk of the goods has been transferred from the seller to the buyer along with the bill of lading, and the buyer can only claim compensation from the carrier.

3. A document evidencing the formation of the contract
The terms printed on the bill of lading specify the rights and obligations between the carrier and the shipper.The bill of lading is also recognized by law as the basis for dealing with the carriage of goods.Therefore, the bill of lading is often regarded as the contract of transport itself.However, according to the strict legal concept, the bill of lading does not meet the basic requirements of the economic contract.It is not the product of both parties' intention and expression, and the clause of bill of lading binding both parties is drawn up by the carrier unilaterally.It performs all the work of consigning and transporting the goods by the shipper prior to the issuance of the bill of lading.Therefore, the bill of lading is not so much a contract of transport as a proof of the contract of transport.If there is a contract of carriage between the parties prior to the issuance of the bill of lading, the parties shall act as agreed in the original contract regardless of the terms of the bill of lading;However, if there is no prior agreement and the shipper accepts the bill of lading without any objection, the bill of lading is deemed as the contract itself.Although the shipper does not sign the bill of lading due to the characteristics of Marine transportation, the terms of the bill of lading are binding on them, whether or not the holder signs the bill of lading, as it is different from the general contract after all.
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