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FAQ

What is bill of lading?
A Bill of Lading (B/L or BoL) document is an extremely important document involved in the shipping and logistics industry. A Bill of Lading is a document that is issued by the Carrier of goods to the “Shipper” of the goods. It’s a document to previdence or proof of shipment. This is extremely important in International Trade as it provides ‘title‡ as to who legally owns the cargo. The Bill of Lading acts as evidence of Contract of Carriage, receipt of goods and document of Title to the goods. The owner of the cargo (the holder of the Bill of Lading) has the legal rights to claim the goods or arrange transfer ownership of the cargo to another party in the supply chain.Useful information on how the Bill of Lading is actually used…The Bill of Lading is important in International Trade when it comes to the IncoTerms that the goods are sold on and the payment terms agreed between buyer and seller. In alot of cases, buyers and sellers will agree to pay a deposit to the supplier then arrange the balance payment ‘upon receipt of Bill of Lading’. This means that when the goods have been shipped and the shipper receives the Bill of Lading from the carrier (shipping line), the shipper will use this document as security and will only email a ‘copy‡ of the Bill of Lading to the buyer to prove that the goods have been shipped and to request the balance payment. The shipper will hold title to the original Bill of Lading (originals) and therefore legally retain ownership of the cargo. The shipper will use this as security to ensure that they receive the balance payment for the goods. Bill of Ladings are also used when shippers and consignees arrange Letter’s of Credit (L/Cs) with both party's banks. Letters of Credit are contracts written between the shipper’s bank and the consignee’s bank that will guarantee payment of goods ‘upon Bill of Lading’.Once the buyer has made the balance payment the shipper will ‘surrender‡ the Bill of Lading and tell the shipping company to issue an ‘Express Release‡ or 'Telex Release' Bill of Lading. This Express Release Bill of Lading will allow the title of goods to be transferred to the buyer without the buyer having to actually receive the original Bill of Lading documents in the mail. The buyer will use this Express Release Bill of Lading to arrange customs clearance and release of their cargo at the port of destination.Read this article to understand:The difference between Freight Collect and Freight Pre-PaidInformation that is included on a Bill of LadingAn example Bill of Lading
Cargo: What happens when I order something from china and get it delivered to the states?
Look at it as a simple flowchart:Supplier- customs broker- FF- carrier- FF- customs broker- buyer.As you can notice, 2 sets of FF and customs broker - one each for origin and destination. Customs broker is generally essential across the world, forwarder is optional/incidental.Customs brokers take care of passing through a country's customs authority - export and import.Carrier will issue a bill of lading to the seller (or its agent- FF) which will need to be presented at destination by receiver (or its agent) for the cargo to be released.Where the carrier issues the bill of lading to the FF, the FF in turn will issue BL to the supplier.
When have you fired someone on the spot?
I have, and the reason for it broke my heart. Not the dismissal, but the circumstances that led to the dismissal.I was administrator of a home and school for severely multiply disabled children, most of whom were quadriplegic since birth and had the most severe intellectual disabilities as well. Two employees came to me visibly shaken and told me that they had witnessed another employee, their supervisor, “doing things in a child’s diaper area”.I was shaken, too. I asked my assistant to come into the office, and asked the two to repeat what they had seen. From the moment the accusation was made, I made sure every step was witnessed and documented. Together, my assistant and I reassured the two reporting employees, offered them our support and gave them the rest of the day off with pay. Then my assistant went up to the nursing care floor to bring the accused nurse to my office while I asked an off-duty nurse who lived on the premises to step in on the floor because of “an emergency” and paged our social worker.About twenty minutes passed from the time I first called my assistant to my office to hear the accusation until she returned to my office with the accused. We told him that he had been seen inappropriately touching a child in its genital area. He turned white and started to make excuses. He had been examining the child. He was changing the diaper. He was concerned about a red spot on the child’s skin. He and the child were playing. (This child was incapable of play.) In other words, lots of explanations and excuses and not even once saying, “Ridiculous! I did no such thing.”This was before the days of mobile phones; the nurse asked if he could call his wife. Neither my assistant nor I understood the language he spoke, but we both read the tone of voice and body language. Our impression was that this was not the first time he lost a job for this reason, but of course that was only our impression. We saw nothing that seemed to reflect surprise or indignation, though.We told the accused what was going to happen from this point on, both in terms of the government body that licensed our institution and in terms of our own investigation and the terms of his dismissal. We informed him of his rights according to our policies and state employment and child protection laws. We asked a male member of the staff to accompany him as he changed into street clothes and collected his belongings. As soon as he left my office I started making the phone calls: our government supervisor, the police, the house pediatrician, our lawyer, the child’s government-appointed guardian and social worker.The nurse was arrested the same day.Writing this account felt like a debriefing, even though this happened decades ago. Thank you for the opportunity.
What’s the difference between a waybill and a bill of lading?
In Simple terms,A Sea Waybill is a document that is given by the carrier which contains details of the Cargo like type of cargo, Dimension, name of the consignee and consignor and information like POL, POD, Carrier name, Charges etc., Now to the use of Waybill, the waybill is normally sent through mail which is mentioned as and it can be used to release the cargo. But if it is a LC shipment[1] the bill of lading is mandatory.One of the main difference between them is a Sea waybill shipment don’t need original SWB to obtain the DO whereas a shipment which has released a BL should prthe original BL to get the DO (Delivery Order).Bill of Landing is a document that is signed by the carrier and given to the shipper at the point of loading as a proof and it acts as an evidence. It also contains similar details as waybill has but it is a recognized document. Bill of lading should be sent through courier to the clearing agent in order to get the DO (Delivery Order).Now to your questions:If you are a liner you have to sign both the Waybill and Bill of lading on behalf of the Carrier (like OOCL, Mersk etc). No other has to sign those documents.There are 2 main types of BL[2], MBL and HBL, where MBL is issued by the Liner to the Shipper and HBL is issued by the Freight forwarders (the ones who loads the cargo).When you talk about no sign requirement, a Direct Master BL (only the MBL) is released there is no other documents needed (as it contain the name of actual Consignor and Consignee) other than a letter from the consignee stating the clearing agent name with it (which is necessary for the clearing agent to obtain the DO).I didn’t fully get the question details but still I have done my best up to my understanding.Hope its informative.Footnotes[1] Letter of credit - Wikipedia[2] A bill of lading ‡ Part 2 - MBL vs. HBL - Seaoo.com | Blog
How do Airway Bill and Bill of Lading differ?
Both Bill of Lading (B/L) and Waybill are among the most important documents in international trade. The key difference between a B/L and a Waybill is that a waybill does not convey title. The cargo named on the waybill can be released only to the named consignee and no original documents are required.Airway bill is a document of proof of receipt issued by air carrier of goods to shipper on receipt of goods for on carriage. Where as bill of lading is a document of proof of receipt issued by sea carrier of goods to shipper on receipt of goods for on carriage.
How you can secure your money when you buy an expensive thing from Alibaba?
You would only pay 30% for the deposit.Have somebody inspect the goods to ensure they are really producing the products with the quality you expect.Have the supplier dispatched the goods and send you copy of bill of lading before you release the 70% balance.
What is the importer declaration document under a custom clearance of import cargo?
Documents required for import customs clearance in IndiaThis is one of the important articles in export and import trade –What are the documents required for Import clearance? One of frequently asked questions is ‘documents required for import clearance’Unlike other articles, I can not pra ‘capsule‡ solution on this article about documents required for import customs clearance. I will explain reason behind it. First of all, let me clarify: the documents required for import clearance under all products are not same. However, we can discuss about the common documents required for import customs clearance in importing countries. I will pryou a some general information on documentation of import customs clearance from which you can have a common idea on the subject. I hope, this information helps you a lot to know about documents required for import clearance generally.Since various types of commodities are imported from different countries, a complete list of documents for import customs clearance procedures can not be provided. More over, different countries have their own policies in turn different procedures and formalities for import clearance. Each product under import and export is classified under a code number accepted globally which is called ITC number.There may have bilateral import export agreements between governments of different countries. Imports and exports from such countries may have exemptions on documentation for export and import clearance.However there are legal documents, common documents and specific documents on commodity basis required to complete import customs procedures.Let us discuss some of the common documents required for import customs clearance procedures and formalities in some of the importing countries.Bill of Entry:Bill of entry is one of the major import document for import customs clearance. As explained previously, Bill of Entry is the legal document to be filed by CHA or Importer duly signed. Bill of Entry is one of the indicators of ‘total outward remittance of country‡ regulated by Reserve Bank and Customs department. Bill of entry must be filed within thirty days of arrival of goods at a customs location.Once after filing bill of entry along with necessary import customs clearance documents, assessment and examination of goods are carried out by concerned customs official. After completion of import customs formalities, a ‘pass out order‡ is issued under such bill of entry. Once an importer or his authorized customs house agent obtains ‘pass out order‡ from concerned customs official, the imported goods can be moved out of customs. After paying necessary import charges if any to carrier of goods and custodian of cargo, the goods can be taken out of customs area to importer’s place. For further read: How to file Bill of Entry online? How to file Bill of Entry manually? Can Bill of Entry be filed before arrival of goods at destination?Commercial Invoice.Invoice is the prime document in any business transactions. Invoice is one of the documents required for import customs clearance for value appraisal by concerned customs official. Assessable value is calculated on the basis of terms of delivery of goods mentioned in commercial invoice produced by importer at customs location. I have explained about the method of calculation of assessable value in another article in same web blog. The concerned appraising officer verifies the value mentioned in commercial invoice matches with the actual market value of same goods. This method of inspection by appraising officer of customs prevents fraudulent activities of importer or exporter by over invoicing or under invoicing. So Invoice plays a pivotal role in value assessment in import customs clearance procedures. Read more: How to prepare Commercial Invoice? Contents of Commercial Invoice. Difference between proforma Invoice and Commercial Invoice. Howmany types of Bills of Entry in India?Bill of Lading / Airway bill :BL/AWB is one of the documents required for import customs clearance.Bill of lading under sea shipment or Airway bill under air shipment is carrier’s document required to be submitted with customs for import customs clearance purpose. Bill of lading or Airway bill issued by carrier provides the details of cargo with terms of delivery. I have discussed in detail about Bill of Lading and Airway bill separately in this website. You can go through those articles to have a deep knowledge about documents required for import customs clearance. Read more about:Different types of Bill of Lading When to release Bill of Lading? Importance of Bill of LadingImport LicenseAs I have mentioned above, import license may be required as one of the documents for import customs clearance procedures and formalities under specific products. This license may be mandatory for importing specific goods as per guide lines provided by government. Import of such specific products may have been being regulated by government time to time. So government insist an import license as one of the documents required for import customs clearance to bring those materials from foreign countries.Insurance certificateInsurance certificate is one of the documents required for import customs clearance procedures. Insurance certificate is a supporting document against importer’s declaration on terms of delivery. Insurance certificate under import shipment helps customs authorities to verify, whether selling price includes insurance or not. This is required to find assessable value which determines import duty amount.Purchase order/Letter of CreditPurchase order is one of the documents required for import customs clearance. A purchase order reflects almost all terms and conditions of sale contract which enables the customs official to confirm on value assessment. If an import consignment is under letter of credit basis, the importer can submit a copy of Letter of Credit along with the documents for import clearance. Also read How does Letter of Credit work?Technical write up, literature etc. for specific goods if anyTechnical write up, literature of imported goods or any other similar documents may be required as one of the documents for import clearance under some specific goods. For example, if a machinery is imported, a technical write up or literature explaining it’s function can be attached along with importing documents. This document helps customs official to derive exact market value of such imported machinery in turn helps for value assessment.Industrial License if anyAn industrial license copy may be required under specific goods importing. If Importer claims any import benefit as per guidelines of government, such Industrial License can be produced to avail the benefit. In such case, Industrial license copy can be submitted with customs authorities as one of the import clearance documents.RCMC. Registration cum Membership Certificate if anyFor the purpose of availing import duty exemption from government agencies under specific goods, production of RCMC with customs authorities is one of the requirements for import clearance. In such cases importer needs to submit Registration Cum Membership Certificate along with import customs clearance documents.Test report if anyThe customs officials may not be able to identify the quality of goods imported. In order to assess the value of such goods, customs official may draw sample of such imported goods and arranges to send for testing to government authorized laboratories. The concerned customs officer can complete appraisement of such goods only after obtaining such test report. So test report is one of the documents under import customs clearance and formalities under some of specific goods.DEEC/DEPB /ECGC or any other documents for duty benefitsIf importer avails any duty exemptions against imported goods under different schemes like DEEC/DEPB/ECGC etc., such license is produced along with other import clearance documents.Central excise document if anyIf importer avails any central excise benefit under imported goods, the documents pertaining to the same need to be produced along with other import customs clearance documents.GATT/DGFT declaration.As per the guidelines of Government of India, every importer needs to file GATT declaration and DGFT declaration along with other import customs clearance documents with customs. GATT declaration has to be filed by Importer as per the terms of General Agreement on Tariff and Trade.Any other specific documents other than the above mentionedApart from the above mentioned documents, importer has to file additional documents if any required as per the guidelines of government / customs department under import of specific goods.I hope, I could explain you a general idea on documents required for import customs clearance procedures and formalities.