Shipment of goods to the customer in the case of exports is divided into various stages. From the time the order is placed to when the order is delivered, there are various stages under which adequate documents are required.
One such important document in this process is a Bill of Lading. It is an important document in the shipping process. Bill of Lading is of various types. One such type of Bill of Lading is a House Bill of Lading. A House Bill of Lading is a legal document that is required in case of ocean freight process to prove the ownership of goods being shipped.
What is a House Bill of Lading?
A House Bill of Lading or HBL is a type of Bill of Lading that is generated by the carrier and given to the supplier to prove that the goods have been received for shipment. It is a formal agreement between the shipper and the exporter. It is the duty of the seller and the shipment organization to iron out any issues that may be faced during the shipment process. The seller is expected to deliver the shipment to the carrier who is then expected to hand over the goods to the importer at the agreed-upon destination port.
Purpose of House Bill of Lading
A House Bill of Lading is a legal agreement between the carrier and the shipping company. It can also act as proof that the seller has handed over the goods to the shipping company on the condition that they can be supplied to the importer. In case any damage is caused to the goods in the shipment process after the goods have been handed over, the supplier is held responsible for the same.
What does a House Bill of Lading Include?
The House Bill of Lading includes key information about the goods being shipped along with importer and exporter details. All the mentioned fields must be filled so that there is no room for uncertainty in the shipment process. A House Bill of Lading includes the following information:
- Detailed terms and conditions of shipment
- Value of goods being exported
- Details of the transportation process for the shipment
- Importer’s details
- Exporter’s details
Format of House Bill of Lading
A House Bill of Lading has a simple format that includes the details of the shipper along with the importer and exporter. The House Bill of Lading includes the details of the vessel and port of loading & discharge. The format of a House Bill of Lading includes a confirmation from the shipper that the goods have been received in good condition from the seller. The shipper is responsible for filling all the fields in a House Bill of Lading as per the requirements of the seller.
How Does a House Bill of Lading Work?
A House Bill of Lading works seamlessly between the seller, shipper, and buyer. Here is how a House Bill of Lading works:
Step 1: After the seller hands over the shipment, the shipper also checks that the customs formalities and other paperwork required for the shipment are in place.
Step 2: After checking and verification, a House Bill of Lading is issued to the shipper.
Step 3: The shipper hands over the House Bill of Lading to the consignee who then uses the House Bill of Lading to take ownership of the shipment.
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What is the key difference between a House Bill of Lading and a Bill of Lading?
A Bill of Lading is legal proof in case of overseas shipments. It includes shipping details and can also act as a contract of carriage. In comparison, a House Bill of Lading is issued by the carrier that includes details of the shipment, carrier, cargo, and other relevant details.
Who can issue the HBL?
HBL can be issued by any party in the shipping process. It is issued by freight forwarders. The terms and conditions involved in the carriage process must be accepted by all the concerned stakeholders. Parties who are issuing their HBL are expected to take the necessary precautions and get insurance coverage to protect again any kind of risk.
Can anyone issue a House Bill of Lading?
There are no restrictions as such on the issuance of a House Bill of Lading. In markets like India and the US, the House Bill of Lading must be submitted to the concerned authorities. After it is submitted, it can be used in the shipment process to claim ownership and authority over the consignment.