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HomeBill of LadingRelationship between Consignee and Notify Party

Relationship between Consignee and Notify Party

Is there a relationship between consignee and notify party in a bill of lading..?? Simple enough question.. But the answer may not be as simple..

In a previous article on this blog, the consignee and notify has been defined as below :

Consignee – is a key entity in the shipping chain and is the person or company that is legally allowed to receive the cargo covered in the bill of lading..

Image for consignee and notifyNotify – is the name and address details of the person who should be notified of the arrival of the cargo..

There could be several types of relationships between consignee and notify, whether contractual or not.. Based on the way the bill of lading has been consigned, the permutation/combination and the relationship may be categorised as below :

To Order or To Order of Shipper DEF Forwarder Could be the freight forwarder at destination that is authorised to receive, clear and deliver the cargo the final receiver once the endorsed bill of lading is received
ABC Company Could be the final receiver who is being notified of the impending arrival of the shipment.. Certain buyers await this confirmation so that they can then pay the seller who can then endorse the bill of lading over to them for release..
To Order of XYZ Bank DEF Forwarder Could be the freight forwarder at destination that is authorised to receive, clear and deliver the cargo the final receiver
ABC Company Could be the final receiver who is being notified of the impending arrival of the shipment.. Once this notification is received, the buyer will pay the issuing bank (consignee’s bank) the charges as per the sales contract and receive the endorsed original bill of lading for release of cargo..
ABC Company DEF Forwarder Could be the freight forwarder at destination that is authorised to receive, clear and deliver the cargo the final receiver
Same as consignee Usually used when there is no specific notify, but can be used only if there is a full address of consignee in the consignee field
Name of Individual Name of Individual Could be the actual final receiver and in case of personal effects shipments, may be the same as shipper
DEF Forwarder Could be the freight forwarder at destination that is authorised to receive, clear and deliver the cargo on behalf of the receiver
Same as consignee Usually used when there is no specific notify, but can be used only if there is a full address of consignee in the consignee field

Have you come across any other combination, if you have please do share..

Hariesh Manaadiar
Hariesh Manaadiarhttps://www.shippingandfreightresource.com
I am Hariesh Manaadiar, the Founder of Shipping and Freight Resource.. I have been in the dynamic shipping and freight industry for over three decades and have worked in several sectors.. I share my experiences and knowledge of the industry through this blog for those looking for help in the industry.. Stay subscribed for more free useful content about shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, supply chain and trade..


  1. Hi
    if i have a original bill of lading **to the order of the bank**
    there is a notify party on the bill of lading
    does the Bank endorse this and release to notify party? who are named on the shipment
    then can the notify release to party C?

    thank you for your help

    • If there is a bank involved and it is consigned “to order of bank”, there would be some form of documentary credit like a letter of credit involved which will have the instructions on who the bank must endorse the bill of lading to.. Once it is endorsed to that party, then that party can do what they want with it..

  2. Please help me understand below cases:

    Consignee: ABC Company, Country 1
    Notify Party: DEF Company, Country 2
    Shipper: GHI Company, Country 3

    1. Can Country 2 same as Country 3?
    2. Who owns the cargo? ABC or DEF
    3. Among ABC & DEF, who is liable to pay the Shipper? (in case of DA with 60 days credit)
    4. In case of conflicts between DEF & GHI, can Shipper surrender the BL to Notify party instead of Consignee?

  3. Very nice article. Very much appreciate the clarity provided. One more scenario I came across is both consignee and notify parties are TO ORDER. In these cases to whom carrier will notify ?

  4. hi , we have received Export LC under that LC was issued with TO THE ORDER OF APPLICANT (ABC)and notify party(XYZ), for this LC which name i shall able to issue the Invoice, is it possible to issue the invoice to XYZ.

  5. Shipping line and shipper not informed me,cargo arrival, 2month ago,they said me,pay demurrage charge,it’s very high..what is the legal action?

  6. I need to ship goods to Vietnam, where as i have recieved payment and order from buyer In HONGKONG, what do i fill in consignee and notify party in export invoice???


  8. hi
    i work in liner

    if the condition let say
    cnee : ABC ltd
    notify : XYZ ltd (not a forwarder or bank, but maybe have relation with shipper as distributor)
    does the BL need to be endorsed by both (cnee and notify) before i can release Delivery order?

  9. I have a few questions. I bought goods that r being shipped overseas I have a shipping company here who will be picking up goods for me at arrival and putting them in storage for me. The shipping company here would it be the notifying party?
    I’m the buyer does that mean I am the consignee and the receiver since I’m paying for all delivery fees?

  10. Hi what I’m I supposed to signed a consignee?? I’m working at the system global data and act as a corporate affiliate globally I advertise and handling the network improving site what it would be fits me?

    • Consignee yes.. Notify party generally no, but there are no legal implications whoever you mention in Notify, but in some countries notify party has to be someone in that country of import..

  11. Hi
    Lets say the importer of the goods is a company called Malaga ltd, and their bank is HSBC.
    Can you tell me the difference please between a BL with:

    Consignee: HSBC Bank
    Notify: Malaga ltd

    and a BL with:

    Consignee: Malaga ltd
    Notify: Malaga ltd


    • Karim, there is no difference unless the terms To Order is mentioned in front of either HSBC Bank or Malaga Ltd., in the consignee field.. Then it becomes a Negotiable Bill of Lading.. Otherwise it is a Straight Bill of Lading, although then in the first case ONLY HSBC can take release of the cargo..

    • Hi
      Thanks for your reply.
      If in the consignee and notify we indicate Málaga Ltd, is it possible for Málaga Ltd to receive the goods without paying the bank for the original documents?
      Is there a risk?

    • Karim, if there is a bank involved then it would be better to consign it To Order of HSBC Bank so the documents are safe with the bank who will only endorse it to the receiver once they have received the money..

    • Hi Hariesh

      Thanks again for the reply.
      Ok i understand.
      But what can happen if the BL is consigned to the receiver?
      Consignee: Receiver
      Notify: Receiver
      No bank will be mentioned on the BL, but the documents will be sent to the bank, and the receiver will go to the bank to collect the documents, this is how we do it normally for many years, is it wrong?

    • If you consign a bill to a company, that becomes a “Straight Bill of Lading” and in a Straight Bill of Lading the risk is that depending on the country, that consignee could secure release from the shipping line without an original bill of lading..

    • Hi Hariesh

      the 3 original bill of lading will be sent by the bank of the exporter, to the bank of the receiver, bank to bank.
      Then, the receiver will collect from his bank the original documents.
      So you mean that the receiver can collect the documents from his bank without paying his bank ??

    • No, on a Straight Bill of Lading, in certain countries it is possible for the receiver to approach the shipping line for the release of the cargo without surrendering any OBL as long as the bill is consigned to him..

    • I don’t think you understand the point.
      How can the receiver take release of the goods without BL as long as BL is consigned to him??
      Following this logic, it doesn’t matter what the BL is consigned to if you say he can take release without any BL.
      All original BL will go to his bank, and he will have no BL at all, not even copies, without going to the bank first.
      So please understand my previous question.


    • Karim, I did not say receiver can take release without any b/l.. I said there is a possibility in certain countries for a receiver to take delivery of a cargo consigned to him as a Straight Bill without presenting any originals.. There is a difference.. If he doesn’t even get copies then that could be a different thing.. But usually if he is the consignee, he will get an Arrival Notification from the line and in some cases that may be enough.. These things have happened..

      I suggest you read this article fully and you will understand what I have written.. If you still have doubts, pls drop me an email..

  12. Hi,
    Can you suggest if consignee and notify party be from different countries. We are receiving payments from notify party and hence the question.

  13. Can a Consignee reassign a container of goods to another Consignee by the use of “Endorsement” or do all the BoL have to be reissued?

  14. As a notify party on the bill of lading do I need to provide a tax ID number ? Steamship line says they need it

  15. Can someone please advise on this situatuion; the consignee is ABC Company and notify party (and forwarder) is DER Forwarder, does the notify party/forwarder need a release letter (or seperate authorisation) to be able to take custody of the goods or does it suffice that they are listed as notify party on the Bill?

    • I would also be interested in that answer. Also does the type of bill of lading influence this answer e.g. original bill of lading vs seaway bill?

  16. i am told that the south korean govt requires the consignee is the party responsible for paying the seller, which is obvious. My question is, when my company in the USA is responsible for paying the seller in korea, but the shipment is going to our client, our client insists that he be listed as the consignee. anyone have advice for my situation? greatly appreciate your feedback. Thanks

  17. hello,

    I’d like to mention Freight Forwarder involved cases as well… here is an example which we usually deal with: FF requests MBL from shipping line as Shipper DEF Forwarder, Consignee GHI Forwarder, Notify GHI Forwarder then issues his HBL as requested by actual shipper/consignee. (GHI Forwarder acts as DEF Forwarder’s agent at POD)

    Nafi SEREZ

    • Good question..

      As the role of a notify party is to receive notification of the arrival of the cargo, it is mandatory to have some notify party’s name in cases where consignee is not clearly identified – like if consignee is shown as

      To Order
      To Order of Shipper
      To Order of XYZ Bank
      Or Consignee shows only company’s name or individual’s name and no other contact details

      Shipping lines will insist that the notify party be someone from the same country as the POD especially in above cases.. Means either the consignee or notify must be from the same country as the port of discharge..

    • in the said case as it happened two days ago in Paraguay with a customer, we s a shipping company has shown the consignee as o Order of XYZ Bank, and in notify column ABC trading ASUNCION PARAGUAY. Now our agent in Paraguay told us that consignee should be the one who is the ultimate receiver of the cargo. we explained them that the consignee is the bank who has endorsed the back of the obl in favour of the notify ABC TRADING. But they refused and said thatthe consignee should be the same as notify and charged USD.770/= for the amendment charges in customs. they said this is PARAGUAY custom authorities regulation. what you think is that correct


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