Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Am I allowed to change the bill of lading number on a switch bill of lading?

A1: No, you cannot change the bill of lading number on a switch bill of lading. The switch bill of lading is issued to substitute the original bill of lading and serves as evidence of the contract of carriage. Altering the bill of lading number could raise legal and contractual complications.

Q2: Are Incoterms® EXW rules suitable for international trade?

A2: Yes, Incoterms® EXW (Ex Works) rules can be suitable for international trade. However, it is important to consider the responsibilities and risks associated with EXW terms. Under EXW, the seller must make the goods available at their premises, and the buyer is responsible for all subsequent transportation, export clearance, and import duties. Having a clear understanding and agreement between the buyer and seller is crucial regarding the distribution of responsibilities and costs.

Q3: What is a bunker, bunkering, and the Bunker Adjustment Factor?

A3: Bunker refers to the fuel used by ships. Bunkering is the process of supplying fuel to a ship. The Bunker Adjustment Factor (BAF) is an additional charge applied to shipping freight rates to compensate for fluctuations in fuel prices. BAF helps shipping lines manage the cost of fuel, which can vary significantly over time.

Q4: Can a shipper put a hold on a container under CIF terms?

A4: Generally, under CIF (Cost, Insurance, and Freight) terms, the seller is responsible for the transportation of goods to the named port of destination. The seller has fulfilled their obligation once the goods are loaded onto the vessel. Therefore, it is unlikely for the shipper to put a hold on a container under CIF terms. The buyer or consignee would typically control the container upon arrival at the destination port.

Q5: Can anyone issue a House Bill of Lading?

A5: No, a Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) or a Freight Forwarder can only issue a House Bill of Lading. NVOCCs and Freight Forwarders act as intermediaries in the shipping process, consolidating cargo from multiple shippers into full container loads. They issue House Bills of Lading to individual shippers as evidence of receipt and contract of carriage.

Q6: Can cargo be released without the collection of destination charges?

A6: In most cases, cargo can only be released with collecting destination charges. Destination charges include customs duties, taxes, handling fees, and other costs associated with the clearance and delivery of goods at the destination port. These charges must be settled before the cargo can be released to the consignee.

Q7: Can I amend the notifying party after issuing a telex release?

A7: Once a telex release is issued, the original Bill of Lading becomes null and void, and the cargo can be released without surrendering the physical document. Therefore, amending the notifying party after a telex release is typically impossible. Providing accurate information and instructions is essential before the release is processed.

Q8: Can I get an Express Release for cargo while the Original Bill of Lading is with the bank?

A8: It is possible to obtain an Express Release for cargo while the Original Bill of Lading is still with the bank. An Express Release allows the consignee to take delivery of the cargo without presenting the original Bill of Lading. This is often facilitated through a letter of indemnity or a bank guarantee to protect all parties involved.

Q9: Can I stop a telex release on a Bill of Lading after I have requested it?

A9: It is generally challenging to stop a telex release on a Bill of Lading once the request has been made. The telex release instructs the destination agent or shipping line to release the cargo without surrendering the physical document. Once the release is processed, reversing the action may not be easy. Prompt communication with all relevant parties is crucial if a change is needed.

Q10: Can the shipper’s address on the Bill of Lading be in another country?

A10: Yes, the shipper’s address on the Bill of Lading can be in another country. The address represents the shipper’s location or the party responsible for the shipment. It is common for international trade transactions to involve shippers located in different countries. The Bill of Lading is a legal document identifying the shipper and their contact details for communication and documentation purposes.

Please note that the answers are general and may vary depending on specific contractual agreements, trade terms, and applicable laws and regulations. It is recommended to consult with shipping and legal professionals for advice tailored to your circumstances.

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