Who should endorse a bill of lading for cargo release..??

Who should endorse a bill of lading for cargo release and how should a bill of lading be consigned..??

A reader asked below question..

Kindly let me know, In import FCL in which HBL is involved, who will Endorse on HBL and who Will Endorse on MBL – question by reader Wasi Shah

Whether it is HBL or MBL, it must be understood that a bill of lading has to be consigned properly in order that the cargo is released to the correct party..

Below are the permutations that I have seen so far being used in bills of lading in the consignee field and the relevant endorsements required..

Bill of Lading consigned to Endorsements Required on the bill of lading
A Company When consigned to a named consignee, the bill of lading is known as a Straight Bill of Lading, and in the case of a Straight Bill of lading, the release maybe given only to the named consignee and this bill of lading is not negotiable or transferable..
Individual’s Name When consigned to a named consignee, the bill of lading is known as a Straight Bill of Lading, and in the case of a Straight Bill of lading, the release maybe given only to the named consignee and this bill of lading is not negotiable or transferable..Since the consignee is a private individual, release may be effected only after verification of Original ID of the person presenting the OBsL for release..
To Order or To Order of ZYX
Shipper’s endorsement stating DELIVER TO THE ORDER OF “ZYX Client” and ZYX’s company stamp and sign in case he is taking the final delivery or his endorsement stating, DELIVER TO THE ORDER OF “ABC Client” (if the cargo has been further sold)….
To Order of Bank Shipper’s endorsement stating DELIVER TO THE ORDER OF “XYZ BANK” and banks’ endorsement stating, DELIVER TO THE ORDER OF “ZYX Client” and ZYX’s company stamp and sign in case he is taking the final delivery or his endorsement stating, DELIVER TO THE ORDER OF “ABC Client” (if the cargo has been further sold)..

In one of my previous articles we discussed the difference between House Bill of Lading (HBL) and Master Bill of Lading (MBL)..

As outlined in that article a HBL is issued by a forwarder or NVOCC operator to their clients whereas the MBL is issued by a shipping line to a forwarder, NVOCC Operator or Groupage Operator..

So who should endorse a bill of lading for cargo release and how should a HBL and MBL be consigned..??

When there is an involvement of HBL, the MBL can only be a Seaway Bill or a Straight Bill and will invariably be consigned as below

  • Shipper will be : Freight Forwarder or NVOCC
  • Consignee will be : The agent of the freight forwarder or NVOCC.. But this could vary from country to country as some countries need the actual consignee information on the MBL
  • Notify will be : The agent of the freight forwarder or NVOCC

Since a Seaway bill is neither negotiable nor transferable, there is no need need for any endorsements on the MBL and cargo will be released to the consignee..

If the HBL is used as the transport document, then the HBL should follow the endorsements as shown above..


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18 comments on “Who should endorse a bill of lading for cargo release..??”

  1. Pingback: Risks and Liabilities of a Freight Forwarder - Shipping and Freight Resource

  2. Pingback: How many original bills of lading must I surrender to get release of cargo..?? - Shipping and Freight Resource

  3. By Badar Reply

    Dear All, i dont know if anyone is still checking this blog or not , i am stuck in one transaction and need help.
    The scenerio is that i am in UAE and the buyer is in Pakistan the seller is also from UAE.
    So buyer issued LC to me ,now i also want to issue lc to the seller but confusion is that who will be the consignee ” To the Order of which bank” IF its my bank then how can i present the BL to the buyers bank… Can any one tell me the way out.

    • By Essam Hamed

      Hi Badar,

      if the first L/C specific a consignee you must mention it in the second L/C.
      if not “for example” TO ORDER , you have to put it in the second L/C and endorse the B/L.

      you have to do exactly according to the first L/C terms and conditions.
      please do not hesitate to ask for any clarifications.

      Essam Hamed
      Export Manager
      Egypt

  4. By Arif Reply

    Sir,
    i Have 3 questions

    1) My freight forwarder says
    in case of TO ORDER BL intended consignee to whom we are going to endorse should be notify

    2) ref. to the very first comment in this Article, you answered that if it consigned “TO ORDER OF ZYX” even than shipper’s endorsement is required . I mean shipper has alredy made “ZYX” owner of goods so why shipper need to sign.

    3) I noticed even in case of Straight BL shipper from China does Blank endorsement—— does it required

    • By Hariesh Manaadiar

      Hello Arif, thanks for the interesting questions..

      1) My freight forwarder says in case of TO ORDER BL intended consignee to whom we are going to endorse should be notify

      (not necessarily although generally in the case of To Order bills, the notify maybe actual receiver)

      2) ref. to the very first comment in this Article, you answered that if it consigned “TO ORDER OF ZYX” even than shipper’s endorsement is required . I mean shipper has alredy made “ZYX” owner of goods so why shipper need to sign.

      (shipper’s endorsement is to prevent any irregular release (say in case of OBL being lost by the shipper or stolen from shipper and used by someone else for release))

      3) I noticed even in case of Straight BL shipper from China does Blank endorsement—— does it required

      (in straight bill it is not actually required, but some customers prefer to do it and this is further complicated by the fact that in many countries, straight bill of lading is a bit more complicated..)

      Trust this assists..

  5. By joe Reply

    Hi Friends,

    Could you please clear my below doubts?

    The above article says if OBL is consigned “to order of ZYX company” or “to order of XYZ Bank”, shipper and entity which takes final delivery also need to endorse on OBL.

    Is it that all the three parties, Shipper, ZYX company/XYZ Bank and entity who takes final delivery need to endorse in a single BL? or endorsement of ZYX company/XYZ bank alone is enough???

    • By Hariesh Manaadiar

      Hi Joe, if consigned to To Order or To Order of ZYX, then shipper’s endorsement is required if ZYX is taking delivery.. If ZYX is selling to ABC then ZYX must also endorse.. If consigned To Order of Bank, then there must be shipper’s endorsement and also bank’s endorsement delivering to ZYX.. If ZYX is selling to ABC then ZYX must also endorse..

      Trust clear..??

    • By joe

      Thank you sir,,

      The case is that,I have received “To order” BL and the shipper has endorsed it stating “release to order of -my company”, we want take final delivery of goods (not reselling it).Does my company stamp and signature is required??..some saying blank endorsement is required even though i am not reselling it.

  6. By Anonymous Reply

    Hi! Then it is the buyer who is ultimately getting the final discharge being done by producing the original B/L + having the title to the goods/cargo- can endorse the same B/L to a 3rd party.

  7. By Mahesh Reply

    Sir,

    The ‘Maersk’ web pages mention that even for straight consigned (individual/company) Bill of Lading, the consignee’s endorsement is required.

    I being an exporter only, am wondering what could be the actual wording of such an endorsement?

    Mahesh

  8. By Essam Hamed Reply

    How about if the MBL consigned “TO ORDER” only??
    It means that the holder of this MBL is the owner of the shipment, and it doesn’t need any endorsement.

    N.B. Should use this model in the minimalistic due to its dangerous , one of the reason to use such MBL when there is no specific importer until the date of shipment

    Essam Hamed
    Export manager
    Egypt

  9. By Ivailo Nikov Reply

    HBL is being issued by the forwarding agency with the only purpose to hide the real consignee, their client, in order to avoid some other company offering him better prices or services. In this case MBL is being issued to the name of the forwarding agency and the agency itself issues HBL to the real consignee. So HBL is often used dealing with small, solvent clients who, let’s say, import one container per two-three months.

    • By Kristoffer

      Dear Ivailo

      That is not completly true.
      For example we use our own HBL, printed on our own B/L paper, to our customers as it is a insurance issue. This is a demand from our customer: So that if anything should go wrong they can go directly to us for the claim.

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