Among the many documents when shipping from China, the bill of lading is very important as the basis for handling the rights and obligations of both parties in the transportation between the carrier and the shipper. The customs of some countries also need to provide a bill of lading is the document requirements for imported goods.


But in daily shipments from China, even if you are very careful, it is always inevitable that some small mistakes will occur. Among them, the loss of the bill of lading is a very serious problem. In the process of sending the bill of lading, it is very likely that the bill of lading will be lost:


  1. Lost under the control of the exporter.
  2. After the exporter sends the documents to the issuing bank, they are lost at the issuing bank.
  3. The documents submitted by the issuing bank are lost after being handed over to the courier company.
  4. Lost after being delivered by the courier company to the negotiating bank.
  5. Lost after the negotiating bank delivers it to the consignee.


In the first and fifth cases, the exporter and importer should be responsible respectively; in the second and fourth cases, the issuing bank or negotiating bank should be responsible; the problem is that the loss is often Occurring in the third situation, in accordance with the current effective postal regulations, the postal department only assumes very limited responsibilities.


According to INCOTERMS, under the conditions of CIF, CFR, and FOB, the seller is required to bear the cost of the goods until the goods cross the ship’s rail at the port of shipment and submit a clean bill of lading that has been shipped to the buyer. Therefore, the exporter is obliged to deliver the goods or shipping documents. If the bill of lading is lost, the seller shall bear the relevant responsibilities.


In order to ensure its own rights and interests, the carrier requires the consignee to guarantee the delivery of the goods without the original bill of lading and also requires the bank to provide a guarantee.


What to do if the bill of lading is lost, when you shipped from China?what measures should be taken?what is the solution?


If the bill of lading is lost under different circumstances, the responsibilities of all parties are also different, but this is a later story. After the bill of lading is lost, the following measures must first be taken to solve the problem to reduce the possibility of risk.


01Notify relevant shipping companies and their agents in time


In this case, the shipping company and its freight forwarders are obliged to handle the goods carefully. They can no longer release the goods only on the basis of the original bill of lading held by the holder of the bill of lading. Instead, the consignor should be required to provide sufficient evidence to prove that the bill of lading was obtained.  For example, is the endorsement continuous? Does it meet the requirements? Does the reasonable consideration have been paid? The carrier can also deposit the goods under the bill of lading through legal procedures and release the responsibility for the goods


02Apply to the court for public notice in time


One can ensure that the rights and interests under the bill of lading are not infringed;

Second, it can solve the problem of long-term stagnation of margin.

Because once the court decides to accept the public notice, the transfer of the rights to the bill during that period is invalid. The legal fees for the public claims procedure are lower, and the attorney’s fees are also lower. After the expiration of the claim period (usually 60 days), you can apply for the court to make an ex-rights judgment.


03 Generally speaking, the loss of documents should not affect the port pressure


Because the consignee is obligated to accept the goods and cannot refuse to discharge the goods accordingly; the carrier also cannot refuse to discharge the goods on the grounds that the consignee does not have the original bill of lading, even though it has the right to refuse to release the goods.


04What kind of responsibility should the postal express company bear?



The current laws and regulations give it almost exemption treatment; whether it is possible to pass on the loss by insuring the postal express risk insurance, it seems that the current insurance company has not carried out this insurance.


05A letter of guarantee issued by the bank


As long as the letter of guarantee issued by the bank is specific and comprehensive, there is generally no risk. Involving large guarantees, it is best to ask a legal adviser to check, because in practice there are indeed many precedents of invalid bank guarantees.


06 If the bill of lading is lost after the shipper’s settlement of the foreign exchange when applying for delivery without a bill of lading


The ownership of the goods has been transferred to the bona fide bill of lading holder, so there is generally no need to reissue the bill of lading. The carrier’s obligation is to deliver the goods to the bona fide bill of the lading holder. According to different situations, it should be treated differently:



Under the registered bill of lading:


After the carrier has received the consignee’s company guarantee and the consignor’s written guarantee that the consignor agrees to deliver the goods to the consignee, the carrier may deliver the goods to the consignee on the registered bill of lading.


Under the instruction bill of lading:

If the agent at the port of discharge receives a request from the consignee that the bill of lading cannot be certified for delivery due to the loss of the bill of lading, the consignee shall be required to produce a photocopy of the original/copy of the bill of lading issued by the original carrier, the commercial invoice, the commercial contract and the packing list Wait for the documents to verify whether the delivery party is the consignee. The agent at the port of discharge should also require the consignee to provide a letter of guarantee issued by a first-class bank that meets certain standards. At the same time, the agent at the port of discharge should ask the agent at the port of loading to contact the consignor on the bill of lading to obtain the consignor’s consent. A written guarantee to release the goods to the delivery person.


Under the bearer bill of lading:

The specific method refers to the instruction bill of lading. If the consignee returns the full set of original bills of lading, the letter of guarantee can be returned to the consignee. If the consignee cannot return the full set of original bills of lading, in principle, the letter of guarantee shall be retained indefinitely. If the consignee requests for return, the agent at the port of discharge shall reserve a minimum period in accordance with the laws of the country where it is located.


The domestic port is recommended to be retained for 6 years. After the bill of lading is lost, the shipping company must be immediately contacted to control the goods in any situation. Only in this way can losses be reduced without damaging the rights and interests of the recipient and the consignor.


Shipment documents are lost in express delivery, which often results in the consignee’s failure to pick up the goods with the original bill of lading at the port of destination. In practice, the consignee usually picks up the goods on the basis of a copy of the bill of lading; The use of foreign exchange settlement or the exporter authorizes the carrier to release; but in the above three cases, the carrier usually requires the cargo party to provide reliable guarantees.


At present, shipping companies often require exporters and their account-opening banks to jointly provide guarantees. The guarantee period ranges from one year, three years, or six years. A guarantee issued by a bank generally requires exporters to pay a deposit. If the amount is huge, the huge amount of money will be held in place for three to six years, which will put great pressure on the exporter; if the bill of lading is obtained in good faith by a third party, the exporter will face both money and goods Empty ending.