Help needed regarding issuance of House Bill of Lading and Master Bill of Lading

I received a question from one of the readers (Abhisesh) seeking help regarding issuance of House Bill of Lading and Master Bill of lading for his shipment..

What are your views/comments to assist him..??

Situation

A shipment has 2 shippers: Shipper A and Shipper B.

Shipper B will deliver the goods to shipper A and then shipper A will load their goods along with shipper B goods in one container.

I will be paying shipper A & B separately.

Now my questions are:

Image for question man1. In this case how will be the BL issued?
2. Who issues the BL?
3. If MBL and HBL will be issued then how will it be issued?
4. Now with my previous experience with the above situation was:

  • Shipper A issued me MBL with shipper A as consignee and it was issued by the shipping line.
  • Shipper A again asked Freight Forwarder to issue HBL. 1 HBL with consignee as Shipper A and another HBL with consignee as Shipper B. So, I ended up having 3 BL altogether.
  • Now, in my receiving port my clearing agent notified me that the manifest was only done for MBL not for HBL. Therefore, they said they cannot release my container. Later I don’t know how they managed to clear my container. Again, my question regarding this issue is :

5. Do shipping line or freight forwarder needs to manifest all 3 BL?. Is it necessary to manifest all 3 BL? Is this normal?
Image for opinion about CIF terms6. Is such transaction normal where there is 2 shipper but in one container?
7. If yes, what is the best and wise option to choose to get things right this time.

Let’s help Abhisesh with his question regarding issuance of House Bill of Lading and Master Bill of Lading..

Pls share your views/experiences in the comments section..

What did you think of the above article..?? Comment below..

18 comments on “Help needed regarding issuance of House Bill of Lading and Master Bill of Lading

  1. hassan says:

    it is lcl/fcl
    multiple shippers – one consignee so u can rely on one freight forwarder to handle your cargo easily so chose your freight forwarder u or shipper A or B . depend on one freight forwarder it is good for u

    Thanks

    Hassan

  2. Dinesh Kumar says:

    Abhisesh, I am replying to your queries point wise and in CAPS

    1. Do Shipping Line or Freight Forwarder need to Manifest the HBL or not?

    NO, REPEAT NO…THE SHIPPING LINE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE HBL’S THEY WILL MANIFEST ONLY WHAT IS MENTIONED ON THE MBL

    2. What sorts of information should HBL contain? Does MBL needs to states that there are 2 HBL issued under this MBL?

    THE HBL WILL CONTAIN THE ACTUAL SHIPPER/CONSIGNEE AND THE ACTUAL DESCRIPTION OF GOODS. ON THE MBL THE ORIGIN FREIGHT FORWARDER IS THE SHIPPER AND THE DESTINATION AGENT WILL BE THE CONSIGNEE [HE IS THE COUNTERPART OF THE ORIGIN FREIGHT FORWARDER, WHO WILL ARRANGE FOR THE DELIVERY ORDER, CUSTOMS CLEARANCE, DE-STUFFING AND LOADING OF THE GOODS, TO BE TAKEN TO THE FINAL DESTINATION]

    THERE IS NO NEED TO MENTION THE DETAILS AND THE NUMBER OF HBL’S UNDER THE MBL

    3. Whose name should be in the MBL as the Shipper if the goods will be loaded and transported from Shipper A warehouse?
    AS MENTIONED ABOVE, THE ORIGIN FREIGHT FORWARDER WILL BE THE SHIPPER AND THE DESTINATION FREIGHT FORWARDER WILL BE THE CONSIGNEE

    3. Last shipment I had a trouble with having 3 BL.
    3 B/L’S ARE NEVER ISSUED – IT WILL BE 1 MASTER B/L – THIS WILL BE FROM ORIGIN AGENT TO DESTINATION AGENT
    HBL WILL BE FROM THE ACTUAL SHIPPER TO THE ACTUAL CONSIGNEE OF THE GOODS-IN THIS CASE YOU ARE THE CONSIGNEE.

    —————————————————————————————-

    As you said, Point [2] The MBL issued by the Carrier Agent, the Shipper will be the Origin Freight Forwarder and the Consignee will be his Destination Agent. The MBL will be issued as a FCL, with Service Type as CY/CY.

    My questions regarding this is:
    1. My last shipment, I had Shipper A as Shipper in MBL. Again I was issued 2 HBL with Shipper A (again) and Shipper B as the shipper and me myself as a consignee in all BL’s. Did we did something wrong here? Is it necessary to have Origin Freight Forwarder as a shipper and Destination Agent as a consignee as stated above in your reply.

    IF THE MBL WAS ISSUED WITH SHIPPER [A] AND [B] AND YOU AS THE CONSIGNEE B, THAN THERE WAS NO POINT OF ISSUING THE HBL’S, WHY DID YOU GOT THE HBL’S ISSUED, WITH THE SAME INFORMATION REPEATING ON THEM??

    2. My bank will ask for the BL to release me all the necessary documents from them. So, I made a payment to Shipper A and Shipper B and now the bank will find a different shipper in the BL (Origin Freight Forwarder) and will raise a question that why the shipper is different to who the payment was made. what will be the explanation for this?

    IF HBL’S ARE ISSUED, THEN THE SHIPPER WILL SUBMIT THE HBL’S TO HIS BANK. HE WILL NOT PUT THE MBL IN THE BANK.
    THE MBL’s WILL BE SURRENDERED BY THE ORIGIN FREIGHT FORWARDER, SO THAT HIS AGENT AT THE DESTINATION CAN TAKE THE DELIVERY ORDER. KINDLY NOTE THAT THE DESTINATION FREIGHT FORWARDER WILL ENDORSE THE MBL COPY AND TAKE THE DELIVERY ORDER ON YOUR NAME, SINCE YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE CONSIGNEE.

    My Shipping Scenario:

    From : Guangzhou-Calcutta by Sea (We just need to release our container and pay necessary port charges)
    From : Calcutta – Kathmandu by Road (We will need to pay taxes and other charges here).
    So what note should the BL contain: CY/CY or CY/CFS. Please explain,

    A] IF YOU ARE DESTUFFING THE CONTAINER AND TAKING CARGO AS LOOSE ITEMS BY ROAD THEN IT SHOULD BE CY/CFS. IF MEANS THAT THE CONTAINER WILL BE TAKEN THE CFS [CONTAINER FREIGHT STATION] FOR DESTUFFING, THE SHIFTING OF THE CONTAINER IS ON ACCOUNT OF THE CARRIER, HOWEVER THE DESTUFFING CHARGES WILL BE ON YOUR ACCOUNT.

    B] BUT IF ON THE MBL IT IS MENTIONED CY/CY, THEN THE CONTAINER WILL BE DISCHARGED IN THE CONTAINER YARD [CY]. AFTER BEING DISCHARGED AT THE CONTAINER YARD, NOW IF YOU NEED TO SHIFT THE CONTAINER TO THE CFS, THE DESTINATION FREIGHT FORWARDER HAVE TO PUT A REQUEST TO THE CARRIER AGENT AND THERE WILL CONTAINER SHIFTING CHARGES INCURRED AND MOST PROBABLY THE DESTINATION FREIGHT FORWARDER WILL MAKE SOME MONEY OUT OF THIS.

    What sorts of information should HBL contain? Does MBL needs to states that there are 2 HBL issued under this MBL?
    I HAVE ANSWERED THIS ABOVE.
    ————————————————————————————————-

  3. Hi,

    Interesting question indeed. I have never seen this situation before. Thanks for
    clarifying this.

    Regards,
    Amro Awad
    Seafreight Discounter

  4. Abel Palmer says:

    Hello Harish,

    My response was similar to Mr Dinesh Kumar’s comment. He explained it very nicely and accurately.

    I would like to know, was this being resolved? What is the outcome? And your opinion and final comment?

    Await your response.

    Thank you.
    Abel

  5. Hi there!
    Before I answer all your questions let me define first the Bill of Lading (B/L), Master Bill of Lading (MBL) and the House Bill of Lading (HBL).

    Bill of Lading – Receipt of goods for shipment issued by the carrier, contract of their carriage, title of goods.

    Master B/L – its a bill of lading issued by the carrier (shipping line)

    House B/L – a bill of lading issued by the freight forwarder

    For the clearing of customs clearance at the port of delivery or the port of destination you need to provide the MBL because the manifest (inward) forwarded by the shipping line to the customs authorities must co-inside with what stated in the MBL. And because you used freight forwarders, they are the one (shipper A) considered to be the owner of the good .because they are the consignee stated at the MBL.

    How to use your HBL? present it to the counterpart of shipper B at the port of destination so you could claim your goods.

    BL is necessary, as stated above, BL is an evidence of ownership. Once you are the consignee and/or holder of the BL you have the right to claim such goods.

    Is it necessary to have 3 BLs? Yes, because you use 2 forwarders. That’s why you have 1 MBL and 2 HBL.

    Best and wise option? If your goods can full a 20 footer container van or 40, then you could go directly to the shipping line. You can even pay less to that. But if you can’t, then better used a forwarder (but this time direct to Shipper B) Or you can send it via aircraft but then it’s kinda expensive.

    Hope I was able to answer your questions.

    Thanks!

  6. Manish Gupta says:

    Hello Harish,
    The most important thing is that you wish two pay to 2 different parties so….

    1) The bank will require 2 diff. B/L at times of remittance to two diff. shipper and hence its better get B/L by both 2 shipper.
    2) The same freight forwarder can issue two diff. B/L for shipper A & B to you.
    3) MBL issued by Liner and HBL by the forwarder is always a better process. Because in case of any problem forwarder can re-issue an HBL but not a MBL.
    4) No questions by you.
    5) The Liner needs to manifest the MBL to customs. ALL HBL issued are mentioned under the MBL only so freight forwarder need not file it. It is normal .
    6) Yes 2 shipper in one container is OK. its Normal. Also you can go for part B/L whereby under this it has two parts that suppose B/L No. : XXXX has B/L No. Part A will be XXXX-A and B/L No. Part B will be XXXX-B. And both the B/L goods consolidated in one single container.
    7) By above answers you can choose the better option for yourself making a wise decision and consult your CHA Once.

    1. Abhishesh says:

      I really appreciate the time and effort you have put to answer my queries.
      I hope you wont mind if I ask you few more questions.
      1. Do Shipping Line or Freight Forwarder need to Manifest the HBL or not?
      2. What sorts of information should HBL contain? Does MBL needs to states that there are 2 HBL issued under this MBL?
      3. Whose name should be in the MBL as the Shipper if the goods will be loaded and transported from Shipper A warehouse?
      3. Last shipment I had a trouble with having 3 BL.

  7. Shane says:

    Hi, The shipping line will only manifest the MBL. In this case the MBL can be addressed to either the c/nee (if the c/nee is the same for both the suppliers) or it can be addressed to the clearing agent at destination (this is a must if the c/nee’s are two different entities)
    The HBL’s are issued using the two different suppliers. when clearance is done at destination then the customs entries will be done as two separate entries, the two entries will match the weight and number of pieces as per the MBL

  8. Hamza Mbugi says:

    Having 3 B/Ls issued for one customer can create complication in other countries like mine (Tanzania).

    Here we use only MBL in creating manifest and not the HBL unless consignment is declared as Consolidation as it normally is when one container is shared by different Customers / Consignee. With regards to naming of the MBL,

    I have come accross such situation where both Shippers will appear on B/L with one common address.

    This usually does not cause any problems since Customs at Destination country is more concerned with the Consignee / Importer who is going to pay for taxes.

    If Shippers disagree to have their names presented on the same B/L, then there’s option of having PART B/Ls issued which will have each Shipper’s name with respective consignment detail.

    1. Abhishesh says:

      thanks heaps for sharing your ideas.

  9. Vijay K says:

    Just a little clarification here SHIPPER is asking bl with them as cnee, then who is mentioned as shipper.

  10. Dinesh Kumar says:

    Sorry to say the content of Abhisesh are confusing.

    What I presume that there are 2 Shippers (A and B) at Origin and one Consignee at Destination. In the container both the Shippers are loading the goods, so obviously, both need a documentary evidence of the goods loaded (since they may need to submit the B/L along with the commercial documents, if the shipment is against L/C).

    Point [1] – The Freight Forwarder at the Origin issues TWO house b/l’s to each Shipper mentioning the details of goods loaded by each. On both the HBL’s the Consignee is the same. This is called as splitting the HBL’s. A point to note, that on both the HBL’s the container number will be the same and in the cargo description, it will be mentioned as 1X20′ part container.

    Point [2] The MBL issued by the Carrier Agent, the Shipper will be the Origin Freight Forwarder and the Consignee will be his Destination Agent. The MBL will be issued as a FCL, with Service Type as CY/CY.

    Point [3] At the destination, the Destination Freight Forwarder against presentation of BOTH the HBL’s will endorse the MBL in the name of the Consignee, who will go to the Liner Agent office and collect the Delivery Order for the FULL CONTAINER, unless the ultimate Consignee needs to de-stuff the container in the port CFS and take the delivery of the cargo as loose pkgs – in this case the Service Type must be mentioned as CY/CFS on the MBL and the Origin Freight Forwarder must be notified about this requirement.

    Point [4] If the L/C clause states the HBL’s are not acceptable, then the Origin Freight Forwarder can ask the Liner Agent to issue split MBL’s. The procedure will be the same as above, except for the fact that the Consignee will have to approach the Destination Liner Agent with BOTH the MBL’s and he will get a single Delivery Order for a FULL CONTAINER.

    I hope that I have understood your query and trust the above has been answered accordingly. – Dinesh Kumar

    1. Abhishesh says:

      First Sorry about the confusion. And thanks for your valuable time . So, I have more questions regarding it such as:

      As you said, Point [2] The MBL issued by the Carrier Agent, the Shipper will be the Origin Freight Forwarder and the Consignee will be his Destination Agent. The MBL will be issued as a FCL, with Service Type as CY/CY.

      My questions regarding this is:
      1. My last shipment, I had Shipper A as Shipper in MBL. Again I was issued 2 HBL with Shipper A (again) and Shipper B as the shipper and me myself as a consignee in all BL’s. Did we did something wrong here? Is it necessary to have Origin Freight Forwarder as a shipper and Destination Agent as a consignee as stated above in your reply.
      2. My bank will ask for the BL to release me all the necessary documents from them. So, I made a payment to Shipper A and Shipper B and now the bank will find a different shipper in the BL (Origin Freight Forwarder) and will raise a question that why the shipper is different to who the payment was made. what will be the explanation for this?

      My Shipping Scenario:

      From : Guangzhou-Calcutta by Sea (We just need to release our container and pay necessary port charges)
      From : Calcutta – Kathmandu by Road (We will need to pay taxes and other charges here).
      So what note should the BL contain: CY/CY or CY/CFS. Please explain,

      What sorts of information should HBL contain? Does MBL needs to states that there are 2 HBL issued under this MBL?

    2. Abhishesh says:

      Hi Dinesh, thanks for your precious information.

      few things I came across today when I was talking to my freight forwarder.

      1. They said they cannot issue MBL and HBL at the same time. what does that mean?

      2. Earlier you mentioned me that MBL is only to be manifested. So, what responsibility does a freight forwarder has when he issues the HBL. My understanding is freight forwarder needs to inform the shipping line that 2 HBL is issued on the BL and shipping line files the IGM for the MBL with a note saying there are 2 HBL under the MBL. Am i right here?

      3. in other hand my custom clearing agent has advised my to put one of two shipper as a shipper and my company as a consignee. Earlier in the comment you have advised me to put shipper as origin freight forwarder and consignee as destination clearing agent. So, what my clearing agent is telling is doable or not?

      Thanks in advance

  11. Jaime Varas says:

    The B/L’s must be issued by the freight forwarder or NVOCC for this to work.

    The Master is issued by the forwarder/NVOCC to his office or agent at the port of destination declaring both commodities as they are normally described in any B/L.

    Then 2 House B/L are issued to each shipper with the proper consignee and the same descriptions used in the master for their portion. If the ocean carriers requires a manifest then one can be issued by the forwarder/NVOCC against the Master only, since the ocean carries does not need any information that is vital in the 2 Houses.

    Hope this helpful.

  12. Nasir Iqbal says:

    Please explain why shipping line apply PSS peak season Surcharge. what is it?

    1. Bentley Cook says:

      HOUSE BILLS AND MASTER BILLS

      In response to your readers question, there are a number of solutions , depending on the circumstances.

      1 Scenario – 2 SHIPPERS TO A SINGLE CONSIGNEE
      This is fairly simple – The forwarder sends the MASTER BILL to the consignee who clears the consignment in the normal way – but uses both commercial invoices for the total value. The 2 shippers can , but do not need to be issued with individual house bills – UNLESS – there are LC’s involved in which case the MASTER BILL will have to be issued as a “SPLIT BILL OF LADING “which clearly show Part 1 of 2 and part 2 of 2 issued separately to the different shippers. This is messy if the consignees are also different and most lines will not accept this , but if the consignee is the same , he can simply “marry the 2 bills and present them together with the other documents for clearance. By special arrangement with the line , these can be manifested as a split bill replicating both parts of the consignment ( also known as “part Bills”).

      2 scenario – The FORWARDER is the one who decided to combine the 2 shipments into the same container to reduce the costs – In this case , it becomes a GROUPAGE container and the forwarder is the party responsible for arranging with his correspondent C&F agent at dest to clear the container and ensure that the 2 parcels are released to the individual or same consignee ( whichever is the case) = house or house waybills can be issued but either way – as far as the line is concerned, it is a “single “consignment and will be treated as such

      3 scenario – The LINE decides to combine the 2 consignments into the container. THIS THEN BECOMES LCL cargo and the line will issue 2 separate bills of lading to the 2 shippers. The consignee(s) will then clear their cargoes separately and collect their goods from the lines depot on presentation of the full set of documents for their particular consignment.

      4 scenario – the 2 shippers , who know each other decide to combine their cargoes into a single container. – In this case – ONE of them will have to accept responsibility for the whole shipment and one consignee will have to clear the whole container. The split of costs and delivery of te individual consignments is the total responsibility of the 2 shippers who have to make the arrangements between themselves and neither the line nor their C&F agents will or even should be interested in and problems they may find themselves involved in. This could become extremely messy if the consignees were to nominate different C&F agents and there are bound to be fights about overstays , demurrage etc if is a bit slower than the other – hence the need for a single master shipper and master consignee.

      Abhishesh’s shipment seems to fall under this scenario , but from the consignees point of view.

      Q If this is being done , why would the shippers need the bills of lading , other than for filing in their own files – in which case a photocopy of the master bill would serve the purpose adequately. As I mentioned above – in order to stay out of trouble , stick to one master bill from either one of the shippers who can then bill the other for his share of the costs without both of them having to get involved in the export process. As I said – this is messy and if neither the line nor the C&F agent wants to have any part of it , Abhishesh could find himself trying to claw his way out of a deep muddy hole through no fault of his own.

      CAVEATS – mixed consignments must at all times be compatible.

      Stowage of the container must be undertaken by a competent packer who is aware of good stowage practice.

      ALL goods packed must be properly manifested

    2. Abel Palmer says:

      Sur charge added to cargo moving from ASIA. This fee remains in effect for the duration of a typical Peak Season, currently from June 1 – October 31.

      From Asia to Europe

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