Maritime bill of landing
The bill of lading is a “representative” document of goods loaded onto a particular ship under a charter contract or transport contract, such that the holder of the document may have the goods delivered at the time of arrival of the vessel at the port. It is usually a “order” document that is transferred by turn.
It is the main document used in maritime transport, which certifies that the goods have been taken on board from a port of departure to a port of disembarkation on a specifically indicated ship and must indicate:
- the magazine
- the name of the vessel
- the port of embarkation
- the port of landing
- the intended date of departure
- name and signature of the carrier
- the description of the goods as indicated by the loader (clause “said to contain”) its value and the conditions of return according to the incoterms (FOB, CIF, etc.)
- record of goods “on board dated and signed by the master of the vessel.
The bill of lading has three main functions:
* certifies that the cargo has been taken on board the ship by the shipping carrier and/or its agent, as receipt from the shipowner or master of the ship to the shipper
a proof of the existence and content of the contract of carriage relating to the goods described therein;
* assign to the holder the document of credit representative of the goods traveling for sea and incorporating the right to the delivery of the same goods.
* confers on the holder the possession of the goods and the power to transmit that possession to others through his transfer, which is completed by turn.
It is used exclusively in maritime, inland waterway and inland water transport, both with reference to chartering contracts for the chartering of a ship, time, journey, hull, and as regards the transport of certain things.
All bills of lading shall be issued in at least two originals, as required by Article 463 of the Navigation Code. In practice, however, three (and exceptionally four) originals are put into circulation. The use of the first original renders null all the others, to avoid the risk that other bearers appear to demand the release of the goods already issued on presentation of the first original.
The bill of lading is called “net“ or “clean”, when the goods appear in good condition and the policy contains no reserves; “dirty”, if it reports comments of the commander about the bad state of the goods loaded.
The marine bills of
lading, therefore, assume two different types of connotations:
“shipped”: issued after regular loading on board, when an “on board” bill of lading is required; ) “received”: issued after taking delivery of the goods and before loading on board.
The main features of the bill of lading distinguishing it from the waybills are derived from the following basic concepts:
- is a negotiable debt instrument, which lends itself, that is, to the transfer to third parties of the rights on the goods (also during the travel of the same) through a simple “turn”;
- the title is representative of the goods described in the document, which allows the holder, and only he, to withdraw the goods to their destination on presentation of the original of the certificate;
- it is fractionable title, because if the cargo, also during the travel, comes destined to more buyers, the carrier and/or its agent, can, at the request of the sender, divide the bill of lading in so many orders of delivery (orders)depending on how many recipients of the goods will be;
- it travels separately from the goods, as a representative title of the same and, therefore, it reaches the recipient usually through the mechanisms “own of the sale on documents. Only when the consignee has taken possession of the document may he release the cargo on arrival in port.
In maritime trade, the delivery order is the document through which the holder of a bill of lading has the goods represented by it in favour of third parties, ordering the master of the ship to deliver the goods to the holder of the order
They are securities representing goods travelling like the policy and therefore allow for cargo to be traded, and are used when there is a need to divide a quantity of goods loaded by a single P/C between different consignees, where, for example, in the holds or tanks of a ship a single seller has loaded cereals or liquids in bulk for different buyers.
Delivery orders shall be issued where they are provided for in the transport contract.
The request shall be made
by those entitled to dispose of the goods by means of the title.
D/O may be transferred between different entities as follows:
- to the bearer, by physical delivery of the document;
- in order, by one or more turns;
- name, by way of a note from the new beneficiary or by the issue of a new licence to the new beneficiary.