Should the Shipped on Board Date and Bill of Lading Date be the same..??

Shipped on Board Date and Bill of Lading date


Any bill of lading that is issued, is issued with a date usually near the place where the bill of lading is signed (if it is an original bill of lading).. This date reads as the “Date of Issue” of the bill of lading..

I have noticed that there is sometimes a confusion whether this date is or should be the same as the Shipped on Board..?? If this date is shown, does there need to be a Shipped on Board date shown..??

UCP600 Article 20 – Section A – sub-section ii clarifies this point as below, which is self-explanatory..

– an on board notation indicating the date on which the goods have been shipped on board.

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.. See picture..

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..??

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23 comments on “Should the Shipped on Board Date and Bill of Lading Date be the same..??”

  1. By RKB Reply

    Can a “Shipped on board” Bill of lading be issued before the actual On-boarding of the container on the vessel?

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  4. By Beh Cheong Seng Reply

    what if an bill of lading only contain shipped on board date and the column of issue date left blank..would that consider as an draft or unconfirmed copy of BL

  5. By Palani Reply

    What in the case the applicant initially got “received for shipment” bill of lading and later on requested for “stamped on board notation” on it??..Obviously the date of issue in received fro shipment BL would prior to on board date. Is it acceptable bey bank. Correct me if I am wrong.

    • By Hariesh Manaadiar

      In such cases and to avoid confusion the shipper returns the full set of Received For Shipment bill issue new sets of bill of lading with Shipped on Board..

  6. By Laura Reply

    Hi, we are facing issues where all documents have been dated with the SOB date and bank rejecting them view the date of issue is different. It is a shipment under LC. In this case what to do? can somebody please help 🙁

    • By Hariesh Manaadiar

      Hello Laura, if the date of issue is BEFORE date of Shipped on Board then bank will have a problem.. If Date of Issue is AFTER the Shipped on Board date, then they shouldn’t have the problem because both these dates are different.. However, if the body of the bill doesn’t show the notation Shipped on Board and only shows a date, then there might be issues because in the absence of SOB notation, the date of shipment and date of issue will be same..

  7. By kunal Gupta Reply

    It will be considered 16th May. Though many bank’s or buyer’s , may use this to their favor if they intend to dishonor a Letter of Credit.

  8. By Sriram Reply

    If the SOB date is 16th May and if the bill is released after 10 days, what would be the B/L date, what is acceptable variance in the dates between SOB date and B/L date ?

    • By Manaadiar

      There is no time frame between these two dates.. It is in the shipper’s interest to get the bill of lading released asap (if it is a negotiable bill, they will usually take release pretty quickly) and its also in the lines interest to push the shipper to take release of the bill (if it is an original bill).. Each line has their own mechanism to deal with bills that have not yet been released..

      If it is a Waybill, the bill can be considered to be automatically released (issued) once the client confirms the final draft.. A copy of the Waybill is usually sent to the client which indicates that the Waybill has been issued..

    • By gowri shankar

      Hi Hariesh, what is my understanding is SOB date will be the vessel sailing date and BL issue date will be the date when BL is issued to customer. Is that right ?