What is a surrender bill of lading?
When you ship internationally, the carrier’s destination agents often ask for the original bill of lading. However, once the bill of lading has been surrendered at the carrier’s origin office, no original of bill of lading will be required to receive the shipment at the destination.
Bill of lading is like a ticket for a cargo and the original must be submitted to the carrier’s destination agent to receive the shipment unless the bill of lading is surrendered.
In international trading nowadays, most shippers (exporters ) do not send the original bill of lading to the consignee. Instead, they surrender the bill of lading at origin as it makes the procedure much more simple.
Normally bill of lading is issued on the day of the departure of the ship. If, for example, you are shipping from Japan to Hong Kong, the shipment will arrive in Hong Kong port in 6 days. If a shipper receives a bill of lading from the carrier after a few days from he date of departure and then sends it to the consignee by EMS, FedEx or the alike, it will be after the ship’s arrival at the Hong Kong port that the bill of lading is delivered to the consignee. The charge for sending by EMS or FedEx is not cheap and there is also a risk of non-delivery or delay. By having the bill of lading surrendered, one can make the whole procedure very simple. Once the bill of lading is surrendered, no original is required. Once the carrier receives a payment from the shipper (normally through an international mover like us in the case of personal effects shipments), they make an arrangement for surrendering the bill of lading and they send an instruction to their destination agent that the bill of lading has been surrendered and they can release the shipment without the original. Normally the procedure of surrendring the b/l should be a matter of a few to several days.
Waybills have the same validity as surrender bill of lading and no original is required. Express release /telex release are the same.
Customs offices of Central America and South America do not accept surrender bill of lading, waybills or express release. Therefore, if you are shipping from Japan to any of Central and South African countries, you need to make sure that your international movers or shipping agent sends you the original bill of lading instead of surrender bill of lading. Bill of ladings are normally issued in the original, duplicate and the triplicate so if anything happens to the first original, the second original could be sent.