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House Bill of lading

types of bill of lading

House Bill of Lading

A Bill of Lading can also be issued in the form of a House Bill of Lading or a Master Bill of Lading.

On the basis of execution:

  • 1. A House Bill of Lading (HBL) is generally issued by the associated Freight Forwarder to the exporter or customers.
  • 2. A Master Bill of Lading (MBL) is generally issued by the Shipping Line (Carrier) to the Freight Forwarder.

When house bill of lading is issued for an FCL shipment (full container load and non-groupage), then it has to be issued on a back to back basis along with a master bill of lading. This means the house bill of lading should be an exact replica of the master bill of lading which is issued by the actual Shipping line and enlists all details except certain points the shipper, consignee and notify party details which are usually different in the house bill of lading and master bill of lading.

In the House bill of lading

  • ● generally, the shipper is the actual shipper or exporter of the consignment
  • ● usually, the consignee is the actual receiver or importer of the consignment
  • ● the Notify and Consignee can be the same (or some other party as dictated within the L/C)

The House Bill of Lading is issued by the NVOCC or freight forwarder to the exporter I.e. actual customer. The shipper enlisted within the house bill of lading is generally the actual exporter of the consignment, and the consignee is the importer. The notify party can be the same as the consignee or can be any other party depends upon certain terms and conditions.

How it works: As soon as the freight forwarder or the NVOCC receives the shipment from the shipper the next task is to ensure that required documentation and customs paperwork are complete. Further, the release of the House Bill of Lading to the shipper is made.

House Bill of Lading can be considered as a bill which is issued by a freight forwarder to a shipper and acts as a receipt for the consignment being shipped with other consignments as one consignment usually through FCL (full container load). The bill of lading of the shipping company represents the forwarder as a consignor, and along with this the freight forwarder’s agent name is mentioned as a consignee at the destination port. However, it cannot be considered as a complete document of title, but a house bill of lading poses a legal standing similar to that pertained by a normal bill of lading.

What Does a House Bill of Lading Mean in Export and Import Businesses?

A house bill of lading can be considered as a transport document that is effectively used in sea shipments, generally issued and signed by a freight forwarder. Format of freight forwarder’s bill of lading usually enlists the evidence of the terms and conditions for carriage of consignment as specified by the freight forwarder.

What Are the Main Features of a House Bill of Lading (HBL)?

  • ● A house bill of lading usually issued on freight forwarder’s bill of lading format.
  • ● An HBL is issued as well as signed by a forwarder and does not indicate any kind of signing authority. They can sign it either as a carrier or as an agent of the carrier. In some cases, forwarder companies sign house bill of lading “as carrier”, especially when their customers require a bill of lading that is compliant to the letter of credit conditions.
  • ● A house bill of lading could be and could not be the subject to Hague Rules, it depends upon the type of shipment and laws applicable on it.
  • ● Forwarder signs the house bill of lading. This bill represents that the terms and conditions are accurate for carriage as per the forwarder company’s perspective. Adding on, it does not contain actual carrier’s carriage contract and because of this the shipper stated on the bill do not get identified within the actual carrier’s contract.

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