Federation of Worldwide Chambers of Exporters and Importers


By: Admin 15-Sep-2019 FOWCham


BL which is an abbreviation for Bill of Lading is frequently used in trade and shipping procedures, where cross border transactions and movements of goods overseas take place.

They are also abbreviated as BoL or B/L. It is a list of goods (cargo) which a ship is carrying as a receipt which is provided by the master of the ship to the person who is providing the goods. BLS is issued by the chip carrier of the goods to acknowledge that they are in receipt of cargo for shipment.

A BL is used for three main purposes:

  • A definite receipt which reflects the type of goods which are loaded.
  • The terms and conditions of carriage contract.
  • Document of the person to whom the goods are entitled.

BLS comes into use when the goods are moving. We constantly see BLS mentioned when we look for proof of shipment related to customs and insurance. It is also used as an important tool to show that agreements have been fulfilled. These Bills of Lading are used to ensure that exporters receive the payment and importers get the required goods. BLS is often seen with goods insurance policy and invoice of the goods. A Bill of Lading is negotiable, but the remaining documents are assignable.

There are two types of Bill of Lading:

  • Onboard Bill of Lading:  This BL is the one in which there are no discrepancy in what the description of the shipper sets out and the product that is on the vessel.
  • Clean Bill of Lading shows that goods have been loaded on board. However, if the carrier realizes that the bill of lading is different from goods on board then the evidence can be cited on the clean bill of lading.

Bill of Lading is one of the important documents which are seen in the export process of almost all types of goods. If you wish to know more about the important documents which are used in the export-import process, you can drop us an email and our team will get back to you.

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Federation of Worldwide Chambers of Exporters and Importers