Process of Shipment:
There are different stages involved in the shipment of goods. These are:-
(i) Customs verification of Shipping Bills
(ii) Carting and Receipt of Cargo of/in transit Sheds
(iii) Cargo examination at Docks
(iv) Loading of cargo
(v) Issue of Mate Receipt
The procedure adopted at different ports relating to different stages is different. Since all these formalities are, by and large, to be completed by the Clearing and Forwarding Agents, these are not discussed here.
After the loading of cargo, the Master of the Vessel issues a document known as the Mate Receipt. It contains details regarding the name of the vessel, berth, date of shipment, description of packages, marks and numbers, conditions of cargo at the time of its receipt on board.
Qualified Mate Receipt:
The Qualified Mate Receipt shows that the cargo at the time of its receipt on Board was not in perfect condition. Hence, it should not be accepted from the vessel unless it is so desired and endorsed on the Dock Challan by the exporter.
Endorsement by Customs Preventive Officer (CPO):
After obtaining the Mate Receipt, the exporter should submit the receipt and all copies of Shipping Bill including Export Promotion copy, to the Customs Preventive Officer (on duty).
The CPO puts the stamp of shipment and his signature on the Shipping Bill and makes an endorsement on Export Licence/ Certificate regarding shipment of export cargo on the AR4/5 Form, Invoice and on such other documents wherever required.
Bill of Lading:
It is issued by the Shipping Company or its agent usually after the cargo is loaded on the ship and Mate Receipt has been obtained. Its style and layout may be different but contents are almost the same.
Normally, it is made out in sets, a set consisting of certain number of originals (two or three) and a few copies, depending upon the requirement of buyer.
The number of copies in original is known as ‘Full Set B/L’. The originals signed by the company are negotiable, copies being non negotiable.
The Bill of Lading is a document of:
(i) Title of goods shipped,
(ii) The receipt for the goods shipped and admission of their apparent conditions and quality at the time of shipment,
(iii) An evidence of the contract of affreightment
(iv) It is transferable by endorsement and delivery.
No Shut-out Notice is to be filed. Where the ship does not accept the Cargo in full, a Shut out Advice is issued showing the goods/packages not accepted.
In case such cargo is desired to be shipped by a subsequent vessel, a fresh Shipping Bill has to be filed and Carting Permit obtained from the Ship’s Agent and the superintendent of the shed where the cargo is to be loaded.
On the receipt of Bill of Lading, the exporter should send shipping or Shipment Advice along with the following documents to his overseas buyer.
(i) Bill of Lading (non-negotiable copy)
(ii) Commercial Invoice or invoice (copy)
(iii) Customs/Consular Invoice (copy), if any
(iv) Packing List.