As the world continues to face lockdowns due to the Coronavirus outbreak the International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has issued advice that warns port agents of issues with receiving original bills of lading.
During this unprecedented period, port agents may be asked by consignees to deliver goods to them without providing a bill of lading in return. The consignee may claim that they have not received the bill of lading from the shipper or cannot present it to the port agent because of lockdown.
In the instance that the original bills of lading remain with the load port agent ITIC recommends that its previously published “Telex Release” guidance be followed.
Where the original bills of lading are not with the load port agent, ITIC has set out the following steps for port agents to take in order to protect themselves:
1. Obtain written permission from the principal to release any cargo without receiving a bill of lading in return.
2. Ask the principal if a Letter of Indemnity from the consignee is required.
3. Check all freight has been paid.
The principal may ask the agent to check with the shipper (or the “to order party” if the original shipper has already sold the goods on) as to whether they have released the bill of lading to the consignee or to the party requesting the goods. This will help avoid releasing the goods to a fraudulent party. The agent should ensure they pass all relevant information to their principal for review and approval.
If in any doubt, members are asked to contact ITIC who will be able to advise further.
The full circular from ITIC is available here.
For further information please contact:
Katerina Dimitropoulos, Navigate PR
T: +44 203 326 8463
International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) is the world’s leading provider of professional indemnity insurance to transport professionals across the globe.
As a mutual insurer, it has over 90 years’ experience providing cover to companies in the marine, naval architecture, aviation, rail, offshore and hydrographic industries. With 2,900 members in over 110 countries and with a worldwide network of correspondents, ITIC is the acknowledged leader in its field.
ITIC’s insurance has been developed primarily to cover claims of negligence – errors or omissions. Cover can also extend to specialist areas such as debt collection, loss of commission income, cyber liability, cash in transit and directors’ and officers’ insurance. ITIC’s wide cover also includes a unique discretionary insurance which could support claims not normally be paid by other professional indemnity insurers.
ITIC is managed by Thomas Miller. More details about ITIC and the services it offers can be found at www.itic-insure.com