Bill of Lading

Definition - What does Bill of Lading mean?

A bill of lading is a formal written inventory given by the ship's captain to the person who receives the goods that were being shipped to them. The bill of lading will explicitly list all materials and merchandise on the shipment, and is liable for inspection by customs officers at any point of the transfer process. It is up to the receiver to ensure that everything listed in the bill of lading actually shows up; if they take account before signing for the shipment, they can make an adjustment on the bill before receipt. If they do not make an adjustment, they will be responsible for payment.

Justipedia explains Bill of Lading

There is an onus on the ship's captain to ensure that all goods being shipped are legally allowed to do so even when they are only shipping the goods on behalf of someone else. There are other limits and regulations concerning goods shipped that each captain would have to adhere to and list their precautionary measures taken, such as what temperature a freezer unit was kept at if the bill of sale includes perishable items.

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