What is a negotiable bill of lading (NBL)?

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Negotiable Bill of Lading (NBL)

What is a negotiable bill of lading (NBL)?

A negotiable bill of lading, or NBL, is a type of Bill of Lading (BOL). It serves as a Contract of Carriage that can be transferred and used by a third party through consignment.  

How is a Negotiable Bill of Lading used? 

A Negotiable Bill of Lading is used when the consignee or the buyer signs and endorses the documents, delivering them to the new consignee or the ‘third party.’

In order to transfer the Negotiable Bill of Lading, the consignor must sign and stamp the bill. After this, the carrier must deliver the goods to their final destination. Then, a new Negotiable Bill of Lading must be written and directed to the order of the consignee.  

What is the difference between an NBL and a non-negotiable Bill of Lading?

A Negotiable Bill of Lading instructs the carrier to deliver goods to any one person in possession of the original endorsed Negotiable Bill.

A non-negotiable Bill of Lading sets one specific consignee, receiver, or buyer to whom the goods must be shipped. It does not represent ownership of the goods by itself, so it must be accompanied by other documentation.  

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