Document circulation is an integral part of information flows in logistics. Any transport operation is accompanied by registration and transfer of a large number of documents, while documents relating to transportation play a role in securing the purchase and sale of goods, its intermediate storage, customs procedures, etc.
All the set of transport documents, following KI Pluzhnikov and Yu. A. Chuntomova, can be classified as follows:
- documents for planning and organizing transportation;
- documents of the contract of carriage;
- documents of chartering vehicles;
- documents of forwarding and agency services;
- Claim documents;
- documents for parcel transportation and for the carriage of goods with declared value;
- non-branch documents.
A brief description of the composition of these groups of documents is given in Table. 8.1.
In this paragraph, a more detailed description of the documents of the contract of carriage and forwarding documents is given.
The conclusion of the contract of carriage is confirmed by the registration of the relevant document - a bill of lading or a waybill. The requirements for the composition of items to be included in the transport documents on a mandatory basis are determined by international conventions or national laws. Sometimes the corresponding normative legal acts establish the form of the document. If it is not established by law, then it is developed by transport associations or transport operators themselves.
Table 8.1. Basic transport document groups
Documents related to this group
Transportation planning and organization documents
Agreements on the organization of transportation, shipping documents (invoices, specifications, packing lists, certificates of origin, quality, conformity, quarantine and sanitary certificates, dangerous goods declarations, etc.), short-term traffic planning documents (applications for transportation, registration cards, etc.)
Overhead and bills of lading of various modes of transport, multimodal transport documents
Rental documents for vehicles and equipment
/[rental contract for vehicles, containers, semi-trailers
Warehouse Receipts, Warehouse Receipts
Documents of forwarding and agency services
Forwarder's orders, forwarding receipts, freight forwarding certificates, etc.
Commercial acts, acts of general form, acts of examination, etc.
Documents for parcel transportation and for the carriage of goods with declared value
Partial receipts, inventory for the carriage of goods with declared value
Insurance policies, cargo customs declarations, etc.
Traffic documents perform the following main functions:
1) confirmation of the conclusion of the contract of carriage. The invoice (or bill of lading) confirms that the consignor and the carrier indicated in it have concluded the contract of carriage on the terms and conditions specified in this document. The availability of an appropriate copy of the transport document allows the parties to file claims for the performance of obligations under the contract of carriage. The recipient specified in the document has the right to receive cargo from the carrier; the carrier receives a basis for payment for the services rendered. Often the general conditions of the contract of carriage established by the relevant international convention, law or regulations are reproduced in a typographical way on the back of the bill of lading or consignment note.
A transport document may issue as an actual carrier, i.e. operator who, for the performance of obligations under the contract, uses his own or vehicles in his possession, and the contractual carrier-forwarder or logistics provider, which organizes the performance of the contract of carriage, attracting subcontractors for this purpose;
2) confirmation of shipment of goods. A duly executed bill of lading or a bill of lading shall serve as evidence of the fulfillment by the seller of its obligations under the purchase and sale agreement, confirming the date of shipment, the nature and condition of the goods, their weight, the number of packages and other delivery conditions required to pay for the goods by the buyer. In certain cases, important for the purchase and sale of a reservation on the condition of the goods during loading. When paying for transactions using a documentary credit (see below), banks must trust the data included in the transport documents. Thus, the data of transport documents reflecting the relationship between the sender and the carrier most directly affect the interests of the third party - the recipient (buyer);
3) disposal of the goods. This function is performed only by the so-called negotiable, or documentary, transport documents. The most common negotiable transport document is a sea bills of lading (see box 8.1 "Sea Bills of Lading"). The multimodal bill of lading P1ATA and some documents issued by freight forwarders (see below) also possess a goods-bearing function.
The negotiable transport document symbolizes the ownership of the goods and is a security used in the trade turnover (hence the name). While the goods are in the process of transportation, the negotiable document issued to it by the carrier can be sold, pledged or assigned, which is legally equivalent to the corresponding operations with the goods. This function of negotiable documents is widely used in supply chains, allowing their participants to carry out commercial transactions without waiting for the completion of transportation. Sometimes, before the recipient actually receives the goods in transit, the negotiable document is resold several times, which is typical, for example, for commodity trading.
Due to the combination of the listed functions, the significance of the transportation documents goes far beyond the limits of the relations under the contract of carriage. They play an important role not only in providing transportation processes, but also in the system of commodity circulation in general.
Transport documents are issued in several copies. The minimum number of copies and their distribution among the parties to the carriage are established by the relevant regulatory documents. As a rule, a certain number of copies of documents that do not have legal force are also produced but are necessary for carriers, terminal operators, freight forwarders, customs authorities, other participants in the supply chain for accounting purposes.
Box 8.1. Maritime Bill of Lading
The marine bill of lading (BUI ojlading, B/L) is one of the oldest and most important documents used in world trade. The first mention of the bill of lading refers to the 16th century, when it was an annex to the charter and represented a receipt from the captain for cargo on board. At the beginning of the XIX century. there were services of postal steamers that allowed delivering documents to the port of destination before the arrival of the ship with the cargo, and the buyer began to pay not against receipt of the goods but against receipt of a bill of lading, an account and an insurance policy. In turn, the buyer could sell or transfer the bill of lading to a third party, which became, thus, the holder of the bill of lading and was entitled to receive the goods upon the arrival of the ship. In the XIX century. the function of a bill of lading as a negotiable security was fixed by the trade legislation of most developed countries, which made it the most important document used in international trade.
In accordance with Art. 145 KTM, the following data should be included in the bill of lading:
1) the carrier's name and location;
2) the name of the port of loading and the date of reception of cargo by the carrier:
3) the name of the sender and the location of the sender;
4) the name of the port of discharge in accordance with the contract for the carriage of goods by sea
5) the name of the recipient, if it is specified by the sender;
6) the name of the goods necessary for the identification of the goods, the main marks, the indication in appropriate cases of the dangerous nature or special properties of the goods, the number of places or objects and the mass of the goods or the quantity indicated otherwise. Thus all data are specified how they are represented by the sender:
7) the external condition of the cargo and its packaging;
8) the freight in the amount payable by the receiver, or other indication that the freight is to be paid to them;
9) time and place of issue of the bill of lading;
10) the number of originals of the bill of lading, if there are more than one;
11) the signature of the carrier or the person acting on his behalf.
By agreement of the parties, the bill of lading may include other data and reservations. A bona fide carrier must make reservations to the bill of lading about the apparent damage to the goods or packaging. The sender is interested in obtaining the so-called clean bill of lading (Clean B/L), which does not contain such reservations.
A bill of lading can be issued:
- in the name of a certain recipient (a nominal bill of lading - Straight B/L), which is issued at the port of destination to the person specified in the bill of lading. You can transfer a nominal bill of lading to another. You can only look for it on the basis of a transaction executed in compliance with the rules established for the assignment of the demand;
- the order of the specified person (Order B/L, Negotiable B/L). The order in this case is an indication of who receives the goods upon arrival at the port of destination. An order bill of lading may be transferred to a third party on the basis of a person's transfer to the bill of lading, order which he compiled;
- to bearer (blank bill of lading - Blank B/L), Such a bill of lading can be transferred by simple delivery.
The board bill of lading (Board B/L) certifies that the goods accepted for carriage are actually loaded onto the ship. If the goods are accepted at the warehouse of the carrier and will be waiting for loading, the bill of lading makes a reservation "received for shipment" (loading bill of lading -Received for Shipment B/L).
If the cargo is to be delivered to the port of destination with an overload in the intermediate port or with a different mode of transport, the maritime carrier may issue a so-called Through B/L, acting as a forwarder.
At the request of the sender, several copies (originals) of the bill of lading may be issued to him, while in each of them the number of originals is noted. After the delivery of the goods on the basis of the first of the originals of the bill of lading, the remaining originals of the bill of lading become invalid. Additional copies (copies) of the bill of lading which can not be used in the trade turnover can also be made.
In addition to the bills of lading, which are under international agreements or generally accepted rules (sea bills of lading, multimodal bill of lading), there are also so-called house bills of lading (House B/L). A home bill of lading may be issued by a freight forwarder in accordance with its own rules. It is usually used in the following cases:
- a freight forwarder organizing maritime transportation, provides the client with additional services that are not carried out by the shipping line. The home bill of lading covers the whole range of services, and the forwarder interacts with the line based on the maritime bill of lading;
- the date of issuance of the sea bills of lading by the actual carrier is not satisfactory to the client. A home bill of lading may be issued earlier;
- the freight forwarder is not interested in the consignor and the actual carrier knowing about each other. A home bill of lading allows you to delimit the scope of commercial information circulation.
A home bill of lading is recognized by a court along with a sea bills of lading or a FIATA bill of lading, but unlike them, it is not described by any general rules and is not always accepted by banks.
The figure below shows a sample of a sea bills of lading (a through bill of lading of a sea carrier for cargo transportation in a container from the port of Mumbai (India) to Lagos (Portugal) via the port of Lisbon).
1 name and address of the sender; 2 name and address of the recipient; 3 the name and address of the carrier; 4 the name of the person that the carrier must inform about the delivery of the goods to the port of destination; 5 - a mark about the absence of damage; 6 - name of the vessel; 7 the name of the port of loading; 8 - the name of the receiving point of the cargo; 9 - bill of lading number; 10 - name of the port of discharge; 11 - name of the final point of transportation; 12 - the place of delivery of the goods; 13 - number of originals of the bill of lading issued; 11 - marking of cargo; 15 - number of packages; 16 - description of the goods; 17 - cargo weight; 18 - volume of cargo; 19 - a note on loading on board the vessel and payment of freight; 20 - container number; 21 - service code; 22 - the person organizing the delivery on the final section of the route; 23 signature of the authorized carrier officer and the date of issue of the bill of lading
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