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Loss Your Goods without Money Come Back

Feb 22, 2022 | Business Fraud Case | 0 comments

Empty money and goods? The phenomenon of “delivery without bill of lading” in central and South American countries occurs again frequently!

Now the phenomenon of “releasing goods without documents” occurs frequently. How can cargo owners and freight forwarders solve the problem better and faster when they encounter such problems and avoid losses? Hurry to see how experienced foreign trade people do!


Two large containers of one shipment are exported to Colombia. It has been 15 days since the arrival at the port. The consignor and the customer have agreed to 40% deposit + 60% payment according to the scanned copy of the bill of lading. If the final payment has not been received and the original bill of lading is still in hand, the shipping company’s official website will display “Full import container out gated”, which means that the cabinet has been taken away. Contact with the destination port customer, the other party refused to reply. How to deal with it?


The customer should have encountered “delivery without a bill of lading”. First confirm whether you have the shipping company’s bill of lading or the freight forwarding bill. If the freight forwarding bill is more risky, the shipping company’s bill of lading is relatively better. All communication letters and materials with the designated freight forwarder should be kept well, and the seal should be stamped, so that the loss of “delivery without a bill of lading” cannot be recovered, and preparations must be made for a lawsuit with the designated freight forwarder.


Do not have sheet to put goods, call to do not have original bill of lading to put goods again, it is to show carrier or its agent (freight agent) or harbor administration authority or storehouse manager is below the circumstance that did not retrieve original bill of lading, the consignee that records on bill of lading or notifier is by duplicate bill of lading or copy of bill of lading, add letter of guarantee the behavior that releases goods. That is, taking delivery without a bill of lading not only includes the release of goods by duplicate bill of lading + letter of guarantee, but also includes the release of goods without a bill of lading, indicating the release of goods without a bill of lading, etc.

[How to Generate]

Usually a release without a bill of lading occurs under FOB terms. FOB means that the buyer appoints the carrier (usually a foreign forwarder and its agent in China), and the buyer controls the transportation; the forwarder often obeys the buyer, or is even directly controlled by the buyer; delivery without a bill of lading usually occurs in this situation Down! After the freight forwarder obtains the MBL from the shipping company, it can directly send it to the foreign agent, and the foreign freight forwarder can pick up the goods from the shipping company after receiving the MBL. As for whether the foreign forwarder will take back the bill of lading (HBL) when delivering the goods to the actual consignee, that is another matter. Once the foreign forwarder does not require the consignee to return the original bill of lading when delivering the goods to the consignee, the bill of lading in the hands of the consignor is meaningless in a sense.

[Which Countries are Involved]

The first category of countries: implement a unilateral release policy for imported goods, and the customs decides whether to release the goods to the consignee, and the shipowner’s control over the original bill of lading is cancelled. Therefore, the shipping company has no legal right to control the goods, and the shipping company is exempted from the act of releasing the goods without a bill of lading caused by the government policy of the destination country. Brazil, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honturas, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Dominica, Venezuela and other Central and South American countries, as well as Angola, Congo and other African countries, Turkey and other Middle East countries, can release goods without a bill of lading.

The second category of countries: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries, it is allowed to pick up the copy of the bill of lading. This also means that if the payment for the goods cannot be recovered in time, even if the exporter has the original bill of lading in hand, it will be of no avail, and it cannot guarantee that the payment can be safely collected.


1. When signing contracts, try to use CIF trade terms instead of FOB, so as to keep the right of goods in your hands.

2. Issue original shipping company bill of lading (MBL) as far as possible, avoid shipping bill, forwarder bill of lading and other bills of lading derived without documents.

3. Understand the common countries that implement delivery without bill of lading. When exporting to these countries, the scanned copy of bill of lading must be issued after the payment for goods is received, so as to avoid the trap of delivery without bill of lading.

4. For each transaction, you must do the payment method you think is safe. If the value of the goods is not large, then try to negotiate with the customer to pay all the payment before the goods are shipped, so that the seller is most assured. If the value of the goods is relatively large, you can recommend the buyer to settle by letter of credit. Of course, you must use a letter of credit issued by a bank with a high reputation, so as to be guaranteed.

5. Understand the other party’s qualification and industry reputation in advance, and avoid cooperation with non-performing freight forwarders. Keep all data and documents related to freight forwarders.

6. Declare the value of the goods truthfully during customs declaration, and try to avoid less declaration of the value of the goods. Because once the goods are released without bill of lading, the national maritime court is based on the declared value of the customs declaration, not the proforma invoice with the customer.

7. Ask for the original bill of lading of the shipping company from the designated freight forwarder in time, and ask for the original expense invoice from the designated freight forwarder at the same time.

8. After the goods are shipped, track the status of the goods in time, find abnormal conditions, and contact the shipping company or agent in time.


What should we do if “release goods without bill” happens?

1. Inquire the specific trends of the goods as soon as possible. If the goods have been taken away and MBL is still in the hands of the shipper, it is confirmed that the goods are released without bill of lading.

2. The freight forwarder shall contact and inform the consignor at the first time. At the same time, let the lawyer send a lawyer’s letter to the designated freight forwarder to inform the consignee that the goods have been taken away and ask him to compensate the shipper for the loss within the specified time.

3. If the designated freight forwarder fails to make compensation within the limited time, prepare all the original fax records and original expense invoices with the designated freight forwarder, and find a lawyer specializing in maritime affairs to prepare to sue the designated freight forwarder.

Recently, the phenomenon of cargo release without B/O in Central and South America has frequently occurred again. The shipping company CMA has urgently issued a notice that after the Venezuelan cargo arrives at the port, the carrier will lose control of the cargo from the date of unloading at the unloading port, and the cargo will be forced to be delivered. It is released by the local customs or port authority to the consignee recorded in the bill of lading, and the consignee can pick up the goods without providing the original bill of lading!

Once the release of goods without a bill of lading occurs, export enterprises will lose both goods and property and suffer huge losses. Remind foreign trade and freight forwarding friends to be vigilant at all times, and to grasp the rights of goods as much as possible to avoid greater risks.


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