International transport > Transport documents

Transport documents

The transport documents are those indicating shipment, dispatch or taking in charge of goods, their characteristics and the conditions in which they are in.

12 Dic 2013 -

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In maritime transport, the document most used is the Bill of Lading, abbreviated “B/L”, in which the maritime shipment is acknowledged and which acts as title evidence of the receipt and status of the goods which have been have been embarked and as ownership title of the same.

At the same time it is a title of credit which can be issued as follows:

Bearer bill of lading, in which the consignee is not specified and the person holding the bill of lading acts as such. This document can be transfered. This form is not used as the document can be lost and therefore the ownership of the goods would pass to the holder of said document.

Bill of lading to the order, the consignee is stated with the expression “to the order of” and is negotiable and allows its transfer to third parties. This is the form most used as it allows the goods to be transferred by means of unlimited endorsements, thus allowing the removal of the goods by the last holder of the bill.

Straight bill of lading, in which the name of a person or legal entity is specified, who acts as consignee, and it is neither transferrable or negotiable. Only the consignee, or authorized agent, can claim the goods.

There are other bills of lading, not usually used, such as:

•Ocean bill of lading

•Barge bill of lading

•Clean bill of lading

•Dirty bill of lading

•On board bill of lading

•Stale bill of lading

•Inland bill of lading

•Short form bill of lading

•Direct bill of lading

•Through bill of lading

•Received for shipment bill of lading

•Homeward bill of lading

•Negotiable bill of lading

•Shipped on deck bill of lading

•Stale bill of lading

•Charter party bill of lading

•Combined transport bill of lading

In air transport, the document most widely used is called AWB or Air Waybill, which certifies that the issuing company acknowledges receipt of goods for shipment or transport.

This document is usually issued in the name of a person or legal entity and is neither endorsable and negotiable, and contains the necessary information regarding the type of goods being transported, as well as instructions on handling, transport and delivery. It is regulated by IATA or International Air Transport Association and under the rules established by the Warsaw Convention of 1929.

It is a document in which multiple data such as those of the airline carrier, the sender, the recipient, the airports of loading, unloading, etc. are specified, sometimes replacing the freight bill, the statement value for customs purposes and in some cases is also valid as an insurance certificate.

In the international transport of goods by road, the most used document is the CMR (Convention of movement of goods by road) signed in Geneva in 1956, which main objective is to unify criteria regarding documentation and the carrier's liability in relation to transport.

The CMR is a document issued by the carrier which states details regarding the cargo, the names, addresses and countries of both the consignor and the consignee, the place and date of loading and unloading, and the conditions of the delivery of the goods such as time and place. This document is not used for postal transport, moving transport or funeral transport. To issue a CMR it is necessary that the loading origin and destination of the goods be different countries and that at least one of the countries is a contracting country.

Another document used in international transport of goods by road is covered in the TIR Convention (Transport International Routier), also signed in Geneva in 1959, but since 1993, the year in which the borders between the EU countries were eliminated, its use has decreased considerably, only being used to transport goods by road to third or non-EU countries.

Its purpose is that once the goods are on the conveyor elements (truck, container, etc..), they can be sealed at the customs office of departure thus avoiding, unless with good cause, inspections or taxes from intermediate countries’ customs through which they are passing until its arrival at the destination customs.

As to the documents most used in intercomunitary transportation of goods, they are:

T1, used for the transport of goods of non EU countries which have not been imported in the EU.

T2, used for the transportation of goods within the EU.

T2L, used between neighboring countries, for the transport of those goods,already imported into the EU, by air or road.

In the international transport of goods by railway, the document most used is the railway waybill or billet, which is regulated by the CIM / Cotif Convention (International Convention on Transport of Goods by Railways) signed in Bern in 1970 and 1980 respectively.

The consignment note must be completed so that it states a complete description of the goods transported, indicating number of packages, package type, weight, etc.. as well as the information of the consignor and consignee, and it is necessary that the transportation of the goods takes place between two or more contracting countries.

Another document used in the international transport of goods by railway is the TIF statement, covered by the TIF Convention (International Railway Transport). Used to transport goods that have not signed the agreement, its function is similar to the TIR system, and its purpose is that once the goods are loaded the goods railway carriages, these are sealed at the customs office of departure and thus avoid, unless for good cause, inspections or taxes in intermediate countries through which they travel until arrival at destination customs.

There are other documents issued by transit agents such as:

•FCR Forwarding Agents Certificate or Receipt.

•FBL Forwarders Bill of Lading.