What to Do If the Original Bill of Lading (B/L) is Lost?

05.10.23 05:15 AM By Hira Bahadur

The Original Bill of Lading (B/L) is a crucial document for international importers. It is the primary document required to take possession of goods arriving from abroad. When the B/L is exchanged for the Delivery Order (DO), it becomes the key proof for cargo release. Here, we'll show what to do if the Original B/L is lost.

If your Original B/L is lost, don't panic. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Contact the Shipping Company: Contact the shipping company immediately, making every effort to reach them and requesting daily updates.

2. Contact the Carrier: Simultaneously, get in touch with the carrier to report the loss and request the procedure for obtaining the DO at the destination without the Original B/L.

3. Inform the Shipper and Freight Forwarding Company: Notify the shipper and the freight forwarding company about the situation and work together to find a solution. Keep both the shipping line and the transportation company informed and involved.

4. Bank Guarantee: The shipping line may suggest a Bank Guarantee. In this case, be prepared to negotiate to obtain the DO without the need for a Bank Guarantee. Write a letter expressing your intention to the shipping line, and send it to the origin shipping company.

5. Notify the Customs Brokerage Company: Inform the customs brokerage company and provide them with a letter of intent along with the notice.

6. Release at Destination: The release of the DO at the destination ultimately depends on the discretion of the shipper and the original shipping line.

7. Bank Guarantee at the Destination: If needed, prepare a Bank Guarantee for 100% for a duration of three months. You will have to contact a bank to obtain the Bank Guarantee. The bank will typically require documents such as the invoice, OBL, a letter from the parcel transportation company, a notification letter, and a Bank Guarantee form. The fee for this service varies from bank to bank and is generally around 1% of the total amount.

8. Approval by the Origin Shipping Line: Once the origin shipping line approves, you can go to exchange the DO. In this case, you will need to use the Bank Guarantee documents instead of the Original B/L. You can then use the DO for the next steps of cargo inspection and receipt.

Remember, the process for handling a lost Original B/L may vary depending on your specific situation and the policies of the shipping company. Always keep communication lines open and cooperate with all parties involved to resolve the issue efficiently.

Hira Bahadur