Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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HomeBill of LadingShipped on Board Date stamp - should it be signed..??

Shipped on Board Date stamp – should it be signed..??

Shipped on Board date stamp – should there be a signature next to it..??

Question from Alessandro as below..

Hello good morning,

Shipped on Board Date stampthanks for Yr educational blog,

i have to ask you : if a credit ask for a “signed shipped on board date” and shipping line says the bill of lading has been signed so also the shipped on board has to be considered signed, no need to sign separately.

Is there in the UCP 600 an article that confirm that if a bill of lading has been signed each part has to be considered “signed” ?

thanks a lot and best regards

Firstly what is a Shipped on Board Date and why is it important..??

A Shipped on Board stamp confirms that the carrier has received and loaded the cargo physically on board the specified ship or voyage.. This is DEFINITE proof that the cargo has been loaded.. There may or may not be a date stamp next to this SOB stamp.. That depends on the shipping line and their policy..

UCP600 – Article 20 – Section A – sub-section ii says below about SOB Date on the bill of lading :

The date of issuance of the bill of lading will be deemed to be the date of shipment unless the bill of lading contains an on board notation indicating the date of shipment, in which case the date stated in the on board notation will be deemed to be the date of shipment.

So if a bill of lading is issued without a shipped on board date, the date of issuance of the bill of lading will be considered as the shipped on board date.. If there is a separate notation of Shipped on Board date in the body of the bill of lading, it should always be on or before the Bill of Lading date..

Shipped on board date and bill of lading date

Now to answer your question regarding the signing of the SHIPPED ON BOARD DATE or in other words signing on or next to a SHIPPED ON BOARD STAMP WITH THE SOB DATE, that is simply a question of choice.. A shipping line may or may not sign it as per their policy.. There is no rule anywhere even in the UCP600 that says that the SOB DATE must be signed..

UCP600 – Article 3 says

A document may be signed by handwriting, facsimile signature, perforated signature, stamp, symbol or any other mechanical or electronic method of authentication.

UCP600 – Article 17 (b) says

b. A bank shall treat as an original any document bearing an apparently original signature, mark, stamp, or label of the issuer of the document, unless the document itself indicates that it is not an original.

From the above it is evident that whether the SOB Date is signed or not, if it is an original bill of lading and the carrier or his agent or the master has signed in the relevant area, it is deemed and accepted as an authentic original bill of lading that covers ALL sections and portions of the bill of lading, unless there are some alteration approved stamps in which case those also must be signed..

Trust this answers your question Alessandro..

There are a few other articles relating to SOB on this blog..

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. Your finding on SOB as to it would be deemed to be dated as reflected on BOL or would be self-validated if it carries a date endorsed, to make it clear that the shipper has shipped on a date fair enough to support his financial negotiation.


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