TT Talk - Loss of B/L - mere advertisement doesn't help!


  • Date: 20/02/2007
  • Source: TT Talk 96

 

That the bill of lading is said to have been lost is no excuse for delivering the shipment without production of the original document. The reality is one can never be 100% sure what has happened to the original set of bill(s) of lading: are they indeed lost, or has someone just overlooked the business of paying the seller? If the carrier releases cargo without firm evidence of the consignee's right to take delivery, the carrier does so entirely at its peril. carrier is to require a bank guarantee (or a company letter of undertaking countersigned by a bank, which thus agrees to "join in") in its favour.

English law - and that of many other nations - provides that the carrier is not bound to deliver the cargo to any person other than the lawful holder of the relevant bill of lading - unless, in a given case, the court so orders. If the difficult situation arises where the bill is missing but the importer is desperate for the cargo, the recommended solution for the

It is sometimes said that an advertisement in the local press about the "loss" or "nullification" of the original bill is an adequate and simple remedy and once that has been done the carrier is able to issue a replacement set without hesitation (or even release the goods without production of the "lost" bill of lading). DO NOT simply rely on this!

Advertisement per se never serves as a complete defence as regards liability for wrongful delivery. At best, it is evidence that the relevant parties did have an intention to cancel the original bills of lading. Rather, when the parties have agreed to deliver cargo against a proper letter of guarantee (in lieu of the original bill of lading), the most important thing is to communicate to the delivery agent this new arrangement for the release of the cargo. This is to avoid the agent meanwhile delivering the cargo to a third party who happened to have in its possession the void/cancelled bill of lading.

The whole question of the delivery of cargo without production of the corresponding original bill of lading is fraught with danger for the carrier since it is standard practice for insurers, such as the P&I Clubs and the TT Club, to exclude from cover liabilities that a carrier incurs by delivering the cargo in these circumstances.

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Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited and TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited, trading as the TT Club. TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited, registered in the UK (Company number: 02657093) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. In Hong Kong, TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is authorised and regulated by the Hong Kong Insurance Authority, in Singapore by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and in Australia by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. In the United States, TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is approved as a surplus lines insurer in all states and is accessible through properly licensed surplus lines brokers. The registered offices are: 90 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 4ST.

Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited, registered in Bermuda (Company number: 1750) is authorised and regulated in Bermuda by the Bermuda Monetary Authority and is authorised in the UK by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.

The UK VAT Identification number for Through Transport Mutual Insurance Association Limited is: GB 564 5244 35 and for TT Club Mutual Insurance Limited is: GB 564 3375 30. The Italian VAT Identification number for TT Club Mutual Ltd is: 03627210101.