Shipped on Board Date and Bill of Lading date
If you are involved in global trade, exports, trade financing or in the banking sector, especially where documentary credits like a Letter of Credit is involved, you might have noticed the term SHIPPED ON BOARD mentioned..
This is an important notation on the Bill of Lading..
Just to refresh your memory,
A Bill of Lading is a transport document issued by the carrier of the goods to the client (usually a shipper or exporter)..
Shipped on board is a notation displayed on the bill of lading by the issuer of the bill of lading (usually the carrier) to confirm that the cargo has been loaded on board the ship..
There seems to be some confusion between the terms Shipped on Board date and Bill of Lading date prompting questions like
- Should the Shipped on Board Date and Bill of Lading Date be the same..??
- Can a bill of lading be issued without a Shipped on Board Date..??
- Can a bill of lading be issued without a Bill of Lading Date..??
Let us look at the answers..
A lot of letters of credit comes with a requirement as highlighted below :
This means that in order for the terms of the letter of credit to be satisfied,
- the bill of lading must be issued in ORIGINAL, which means a “Negotiable Bill of Lading” and
- the bill of lading must have 3 of those Originals and
- the bill of lading should have the notation SHIPPED ON BOARD displayed on the bill of lading
This notation may be in the form of a stamp or typed in the body of the bill of lading and is shown along with a date.. This is the Shipped on Board Date which denotes the date on which the container was loaded on board the ship..
Bill of Lading Date = the date on which the bill of lading is issued..
You can see this date (either as Date of Issue or Place and Date of Issue) usually near the signature area on the bill of lading..
This date is DIFFERENT from the Shipped on Board Date as the container could have been loaded on board the ship at a different date and Bill of Lading was issued to the customer at a different (later) date..
So to answer question 1 “Should the Shipped on Board Date and Bill of Lading Date be the same“, the answer is NO, not necessarily..
These two dates can be same or different.. But the important point to note is that the Bill of Lading date can only be after the Shipped on Board date..
For example, if the container has been Shipped on Board on 11.03.2012, the bill of lading date cannot be 10.03.2012 as the carrier is supposed to issue a bill of lading showing Shipped on Board only after the container has been physically Shipped on Board..
The bill of lading date has to be on or after the shipped on board date..
In response to Question 2 “Can a bill of lading be issued without a Shipped on Board Date..??” UCP600 Article 20 – Section A – sub-section ii clarifies this point quite clearly..
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 a date is shown along with the Shipped on Board notation in the body of the bill of lading, then that date becomes the Shipped on Board Date
In terms of Question 3 “Can a bill of lading be issued without a Bill of Lading Date..??“, technically and legally speaking, a bill of lading shouldn’t be issued and is normally never issued without a date on it..
Releasing a bill of lading without a date will put the carrier at risk as the client can put any date they want and the carrier may be exposed to all sorts of claims and other issues including shipping and freight fraud etc.. You can also read why a shipping line won’t back date a bill of lading..
Have any of you had experiences with banks or other authorities rejecting your documentation due to issues with either of these dates..??
(Post republished after some updates)