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HomeBill of LadingRole and responsibility of multiple notify parties

Role and responsibility of multiple notify parties

I previously answered a question from a reader “Can there be multiple notify party in a bill of lading..??“..

There are a few other questions as below from another interested reader.. 🙂

1) The role and responsibility of multiple notify parties
2) How are they different or similar
3) What is the reason for multiple notify parties
4) Are there different restrictions for this in different countries

Whether it is one or multiple notify parties, the main role and responsibility of a notify party stays the same and that is to receive notification about the arrival of the cargo covered in the bill of lading.. A Notify Party is merely someone that needs to be notified about the arrival of the cargo covered in the bill of lading twitter text..

Multiple notify parties are similar only in the role and responsibility.. There maybe different reasons as to why they have been shown as notify party..

Some of the entities that are commonly shown as Notify Parties in the bill of lading are :

  1. Actual receiver of the cargo
  2. Freight Forwarder or Clearing Agent of the buyer/receiver
  3. Trader or Indenting agent
  4. Buyer’s bank that issues the L/C (Issuing Bank)

multiple notifyIf multiple notify parties are chosen, say for example

  • Consignee : To order of XYZ Bank
  • Notify 1 : Actual receiver
  • Notify 2 : Clearing agent

In this example, the beneficiary of the L/C (normally the receiver of the cargo) might have chosen to show both themselves and their clearing agent as notify parties so that both have the information about the arrival of the cargo and can organize their documentation, funds etc in readiness to receive the cargo..

  • Consignee : ABC Customer
  • Notify 1 : Freight Forwarder of ABC Customer
  • Notify 2 : Indenting Agent

In this example, the receiver might have chosen to show their Freight Forwarder and their Indenting agent as notify parties so that the Forwarder can arrange to secure the release of the cargo and the Indenting agent that brokered the deal/shipment knows that the shipment is being delivered as per the deal..

image for check point charlieIn terms of restrictions in different countries, since the notify party does not have any legal obligation or contract in the shipment process in terms of the bill of lading or customs, port and other authorities, there should not be any specific restrictions related to showing multiple notify parties on the bill of lading..

However, there maybe some countries where multiple notify parties are not allowed, and if anyone has come across this restriction in your country, please do comment..


Hariesh Manaadiar
Hariesh Manaadiar
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. I would like to have your expert comment here. LC from the Applicant-End buyer BL requirement says “Full set of Original Clean on board bills of lading (covering port to port shipment) ” made out to order of shipper and blank endorsed, ad in each case marked “FREIGHT PREPAID and NOTIFY the APPLICANT with Full Address” and The name, address, tel no of the delivery agent.
    My question is can I show, Consignee To the Order of Bank and 1st Notify party as Applicant-end buyer, 2nd Notify party as Beneficiary? The beneficiary will hire a forwarding agent locally to release the cargo & delivery to the Applicants-warehouse. Please advise. Thank you

  2. Hi Hariesh,

    I would like to have your expert comment here. Suppose if the B/L is consigned ‘To Order’, 1st Notify party or 2nd notify party is Bank & 1st notify party or 2nd notify party is actual importer. Then in this case if the shipper has endorsed the B/L, still we need to get the endorsement from the Bank (which is mentioned in 1st / 2nd notify party) in order to release the cargo? As per my knowledge it is not necessary. kindly confirm.

  3. Though the role and responsibility of multiple notify parties can be the same, it is important to highlight under what circumstances they have same role and responsibility.
    Imagine an example of a BL to the order and with 3 notify parties . Although the 3 parties will be notified about the arrival of cargo by the shipping line, the 1st notify party is the only how has full rights and responsibility over the cargo. The only way to transfer such rights and responsibility over the cargo is to endorse this BL to the 2nd Notify Party. If so, this 2nd Notify Party has same power over goods as 1st Notify Party did, but the latter cannot claim anything about the goods because it already lost the full power it. If the 2nd Notify Party decides to endorse this BL again, the 3rd Notify Party is the new one in charge of shipment. So, it is important the sequential order of Notify Parties.
    Regarding restrictions of notify parties, if the BL is to the order, and the final destination is any port in India, the Notify Party/ies has/have to be Indian Company/ies to meet the Indian Customs Regulations.

    • Hello Veronica, there is no “hierarchy” in Notify Parties.. There are only two parties in the contract.. One is Seller (Shipper) and the other is Buyer (Consignee).. Notify can be nominated as the receiver based on the TO ORDER endorsements.. Being named 1st Notify on the bill of lading does not automatically confer the title of the goods to the 1st Notify even if they maybe the actual buyer in the end..


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