Charter Parties can be classed as one of the following:
Bills of Lading
By signing the Bill of Lading, the carrier enters into a legally binding agreement to carry the cargo after it has been loaded onboard the vessel. The Bill provides evidence that the goods have been received for transportation and records the terms on which they are to be carried. It entitles the holder of the Bill to delivery of the cargo, and is needed in order to clear goods at the port of destination.
- It provides evidence that the cargo was received on board the ship at a certain date and in a certain condition
- It records the terms on which the goods are to be carried
- It is a transferable document. It entitles the holder of the Bill to delivery of the cargo. If the goods are sold during the voyage, the Bill of Lading therefore also changes hands. Similarly, while it is usually the shipowner who signs the Bill of Lading and agrees to act as a carrier, the Bill of Lading can be signed by a different party, who then assumes responsibility for carriage
- It is needed in order to clear goods at the port of destination
Types of Bills of Lading
Bills of Lading typically fall into one of four basic categories:
- Congen Bill of Lading – used in combination with Charter Parties
- Conline Bill of Lading – used by liners
- Through Bill of Lading – A through bill of lading is a contract that covers the specific terms agreed to by a shipper and carrier when more than one type of transportation is being used.
- Combined transport Bill of Lading – used when traded cargo is carried by multiple means of transport (e.g., it is transferred from one ship to another, or from ship to rail and then road)
The liabilities that flow from Bills of Lading can be extremely complex. We therefore need maximum clarity about your liabilities from the outset, so that we can determine the insurance cover and premium that will accurately reflect the level of risk involved.