What is a surrender bill of lading?

Surrender bill of lading is a document issued by exporters that grant importers legal ownership of the shipped goods. Find out how it works and its importance.
Surrender Bill of Lading
A Bill of Lading serves as a legal contract between a shipper and a carrier, stating detailed information regarding the shipment being transported. A type of BOL, a Surrender Bill of Lading, is an official document issued by exporters allowing importers to legally be the owner of the goods shipped. As importers pay for the shipment, exporters surrender their respective ownership rights of the goods to the importer.

While transferring ownership of goods during shipment, a Surrender Bill of Lading becomes essential. As the name suggests, the term ‘surrender’ means to return the document in exchange for the goods shipped. With a container-based shipment, you cannot board a ship, deliver the document to the ship’s captain and request the goods on the spot. There are methods for surrendering a BoL. The carrier’s responsibility ends when the Bill of Lading is handed over. Thus, they implement a list of conditions before delivering the shipment.

What is a surrender bill of lading (BOL)?

A surrender bill of lading grants importers legal ownership of the goods that an exporter has shipped. When importers pay for the cargo, exporters give away the ownership of goods. This is a more straightforward form of transferring ownership than other paperwork processes1.

The party responsible for storing the bill of lading should not release it until the importer has paid. A collection of supporting documents accompanies this bill. A Surrender BoL can be used in the following cases:
• If a ship’s original bill of lading is lost or delayed, then a surrender BOL is used as an alternative.
• It is accessible and can be used during customs check, once a bill of lading is surrendered.

How does a surrender bill of lading work?

At the destination port, an original bill of lading is provided to the designated shipping agent. The shipping agent then ensures that the mentioned requirements are satisfied. An exporter can hold the Bill of Lading while legally owning the goods until the importer makes the payment. Bill of Lading is issued in alignment with the payment terms. On behalf of the exporter, a local bank submits the respective terms of payment along with necessary documentation to the importer’s bank. Once the importer makes the payment, the exporter eventually surrenders the BoL.

How to surrender a BOL?

The process of surrendering a BOL allows exporters to transfer the ownership rights to the importer and complete the shipping procedure. Carriers usually release bills when they have received the goods and then, collect appropriate charges from the shipper. Any original bills that the shipper wishes to surrender can be delivered to the carrier of goods along with a written request. This is an ideal procedure for an original Bill of Lading surrender2.

Example of a surrender bill of lading

Some of the details included in a surrender bill of lading are3:
• Vessel name & number
• Place of delivery
• Description & quantity of goods
• Consignee
• Shipper
• Place of shipment
• Date of issue

Understanding all the required export documents allows businesses to be ready to sell internationally. With e-commerce exports, sellers can easily reach millions of customers across the world.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Original BoL and Surrender BoL?
Shipping documents or contracts of carriage are known as an Original Bill of Lading (OBL). These are used to identify and track the shipment of goods. A Surrender Bill of Lading is a legal document produced by an exporter to transfer ownership of the shipped goods to the importer.
How to differentiate between a telex release and a Surrender BOL?
When all original copies of Bill of Lading are returned and the process of surrendering them is complete, a freight carrier generally issues a telex release. A telex release permits the carrier’s agent to discharge goods at one port, even when the shipper submitted the Original Bill of Lading at another port.
What is the difference between a Surrender BoL and Seaway Bill?
Seaway Bills are usually a contract to ensure that transportation and receipt of goods are in place. A Surrender Bill of Lading serves as proof of ownership transfer of the goods being transported.
What is the need for a Surrender Bill of Lading?
If a ship’s Original Bill of Lading is lost or delayed, then a Surrender Bill of Lading is an alternate option that can be used by exporters. A Surrender BoL is accessible and can be used during customs check once the Bill of Lading has been surrendered.
Published on September 20, 2022.


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