What is a negotiable bill of lading (NBL)?
A negotiable bill of lading, or NBL, is a form of a bill of lading (BOL), specifically distinguished by the fact that it is a contract of carriage which can be transferred and used by a third party through consignment. This process takes place when the consignee, or the person who buys the load, or is financially responsible for the goods, signs and endorses the document and delivers it to the new consignee or new buyer (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 it to its destination. Then, a new, clean negotiable bill of lading must be written directed to the order of the consignee.
What is the difference between a negotiable bill of lading 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, which itself represents title to and control of the goods. A non-negotiable bill of lading, however, sets out a one specific consignee, receiver, or buyer to whom the goods must be shipped. A non-negotiable bill of lading does not represent ownership of the goods by itself, so it must be accompanied by other documentation. Because of this, a negotiable bill of lading must be used for a legal document backed sale.