This section presents a summary of the main Transport Documentation that may be required for UK export procedures. The Transport Documents are evidence of a contract of carriage and a receipt.
Many of these documents are normally completed by the Exporters, but their freight forwarders or agents can also complete the forms on Exporters behalf, in which case this will have be shown on the documents or the forms.
BILL OF LADING (BOL or B/L)
Bill of Lading is issued by a carrier for movement of goods by sea as an acknowledgement of specified goods have been received on board as cargo transportation to a named place for delivery. The Bill of Lading is a document of title and acts as a receipt for the goods and is evidence of a contract of carriage. The Marine Bill of Lading is the only transport document that is a document of ‘title’. A ‘Through Bill of Lading’ differs from ‘Bill of Lading’ as it involves the use of at least two different modes of transport from road, rail, air, and sea.
STANDARD SHIPPING NOTE (SSN)
This is a document used for conventional and containerised maritime traffic, advising the ports and container bases in the UK of the necessary information to process and handle the goods.
EXPORT CARGO SHIPPING INSTRUCTION (ECSI)
By this document the exporter instructs the forwarder or carrier as to the goods, the route to the destination, providing information on transport requirements, customs information, which is to receive what documents and who incurs what costs.
CIM CONSIGNMENT NOTE
This is a document particular to rail transport. It is a consignment note covering transport by rail including express parcels.
CMR CONSIGNMENT NOTE
The CMR, particular to road transport, is a consignment note covering international transport of goods by road.
AIR WAYBILL (AWB)
Air Waybills, transport by air, are issued for consignments being transported by Air Freight.
DANGEROUS GOODS NOTE AIR WAYBILL (including House Air Waybill)
Used in air traffic
TIEX NOTE used for rail express parcels
TRANSFER NOTE used for rail Intercontainer traffic
WATER NOTE used for certain other exports by rail