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export bill of lading; presents the export bill of lading to the bank and receives payment of his invoice, although the shipment may not have reached San Francisco. If no export bill of lading were issued in this manner, the exporter at New

York would have to wait until the shipment had been cleared at San Francisco EXPORT BILL OF

and an ocean bill of lading issued before he could obtain payment of invoice. Almost without exception, it is necessary to have three export bills of lading signed and recognized as the original negotiable documents. Copies of the original bills of lading are also made for the benefit of the exporter, the rail lines, and the steamship companies.



Foreign buyers, also the banks negotiating commercial bills of exchange, prefer a bill of lading issued by the steamship company, which usually shows specifically the name of the steamer in which the goods will be carried.

The Ocean Bill of Lading (see form 26, page 508) is one of the most important of the shipper's papers. It is drawn up by the shipper or shipping agent on forms which the carrier may supply, and which are signed by the steamship oompany or its agent on delivery of dock receipt.

Besides being the final receipt from the carrier, the Ocean Bill of Lading constitutes a shipping contract between the carrier and the shipper. It becomes a negotiable document and may be used by shipper as the basis for a draft if drawn to his order. It is not the usual practice, however, for the Ocean Bill of Lading to be drawn in consignee's name, unless he has a special agreement with the shipper, or unless advance payment has been made or security arranged before shipment. The means most commonly used in making foreign trade financial settlements are drafts, or bills of exchange, to which should be attached the shipper's invoice, insurance policy, Ocean Bill of Lading, etc. A number of copies of bills of lading are required, varying according to the nature of the transaction.

The banks, if settlement is to be made by draft, will require two or more negotiable copies of bills of lading.

Non-negotiable copies of bills of lading are required by the shipper, the carrier, and the consignee for filing, and by foreign consuls to comply with the law. Number of Bills of Ladings generally required:

Shipper: Original, Duplicate, Triplicate and copies non-negotiable.
Steamship Company: two to six copies, non-negotiable, according to

individual requirements of Steamship Lines.
It is the general custom that all freight charges due to ocean carriers should
be paid before the steamship company will surrender the executed bills of lading
to the shipper. In some cases, steamship lines will accept freight with charges collect-
ible at destination.

Ocean bills of lading are divided into two classes, i. e., "received for shipment” bills of lading and "shipped" or "on board” bills of lading. The "received for shipment” bill of lading is issued for a named steamer in which space has been previously booked and when goods are in possession of steamship company either on dock or craft. A "shipped” or “on board” bill of lading is issued only after goods have been actually loaded in the ship.


The steamship lines provide for a "minimum bill of lading", or in other words, a minimum charge for transporting small shipments, and many lines stipulate that they will not issue a bill of lading for less than $10.00; that is, that no bill of lading will be issued where the charges accruing to the steamship line are less than $10.00 per shipment. However, exception to this is made in the practice of handling Parcel Receipt Shipments (see form 31, page 514), such as samples, advertising matter, and articles of very low value, or of no value except for display purposes or as EXPORT TRAFFIC


representative of the product. In such cases, the shipment moves as a Parcel Receipt Shipment, and is handled in the same manner as a shipment that is covered by a bill of lading. The liability of the steamship company on such shipments is restricted. The advantages to the steamship line in making this concession is that it permits goods to be advertised and introduced in foreign markets to which the exporter looks forward to selling in quantities.


Satisfactory packing is one of the most essential operations in the handling of export shipments. Among the various factors that a manufacturer should consider in packing for export are:

(1) The class of goods.
(2) The climatic conditions.
(3) The rail transportation conditions.
(4) The port handling conditions.
(5) The transportation conditions of destination countries or countries inter-

mediate to destination.
(6) Pilfering, especially the outside marking of goods that are strongly sus-

ceptible to pilferage. (7) Consular rules and regulations and the customs duties of foreign coun

tries applied according to the manner that goods are packed. A very important element for consideration, when goods are being packed, is whether they are for domestic consumption or foreign consumption. A more substantial package is required for goods subject to the numerous rehandlings when destined to foreign countries. A package used for domestic shipment, unless very substantially constructed, should never be used for goods intended for shipment to foreign countries. Different classes of goods require different packing. The strain caused by pressure of other cargo in the ship should be guarded against by substantial containers. The climatic condition must be considered; that is, goods that are affected by different climatic conditions should be placed in a container that will protect and keep them in proper condition during their entire movement.

The transportation condition requires consideration, due to the fact that at the port of exit and the port of importation the shipment may be handled many times in being transferred, not only from the rail line to the ocean-going vessel, but from rail-line terminals to lighters, and from lighters to vessel, and, at the port of call, from vessel to lighter, and from lighter to docks. At a number of foreign ports, vessels are unable to dock and, therefore, lightering of goods is necessary.

When shipping to the newer countries, such as South and Central America, the question of packing is especially important. Port facilities at the smaller places are undeveloped, and goods are landed by barges which go alongside the ship. Frequently these barges come alongside steamers in quite a heavy sea, and are so difficult to handle that packages are subjected to unusually rough treatment, sometimes being handled on the barges without regard to possible breakage resulting from heavier packages being piled on top of lighter ones, etc. Interior service is, at many ports, somewhat primitive and undeveloped, making it necessary to put up goods in packages of moderate weight, so that such primitive facilities will not be overtaxed.

Care should always be taken to follow any special instructions of foreign customers relative to packing. What may seem an unnecessary thing to many is usually very essential and based on some good and logical reason. Failure to follow customer's instructions in the matter of packing is a frequent cause of disagreement and loss of trade.




Carriers, as a rule, refuse to allow claims for losses resulting from risks which can be insured against, as, for instance, theft or pilferage, leakage, interior breakage or concealed breakage, etc.

The liability of a steamship company being restricted, the manufacturer must consider the element of pilfering that his goods might be subject to in transit. With this in view it is the practice of many shippers to eliminate any description of their goods on the outside of the package, thereby lessening incentive to pilferage. Various clips and reinforcement bands should be used to make it more difficult for the package to be opened, and the marks on the package should only be such as are necessary to indicate the shipper, consignee, port marks, consignee marks and the weights, and whatever regulations are required under the laws of the importing countries.

In packing for export, a most essential feature to be known by the manufacturer is the consular regulations, and the effect that the packing would have on Customs duties. The various countries have different packing requirements. If goods are not packed according to the requirements of the destination country, the manufacturer or the consignee is liable to a fine, or confiscation of the goods. Duty is often imposed on the gross weight of shipments, and when the duty is on a weight basis, substantial, but conservative, packing should be used.

If buyers, when ordering goods, should request that they be packed in a special manner which seems peculiar and possibly wrong to the exporter, it is advisable to follow such request exactly, as the special packing asked for will frequently have an important bearing on the assessment of duty. For instance, a buyer might ask that interior containers be of light-weight paper instead of cardboard boxes or cartons. This would indicate that duty is payable on weight of goods and containers, hence the lightest possible container is desired. There is invariably a logical reason for special requests made by foreign buyers, hence the importance of complying with them. Much friction and dissatisfaction has been caused by the failure of American exporters to observe special requests of foreign buyers.

The subject of packing for export is one that cannot be given too much study and consideration. Assistance may be obtained from the Department of Commerce, Washington, D. C., for information and advice with respect to the proper packing of goods to be exported.


On goods destined to many countries, notably several of the South American countries, it is required that a stencil be used in marking packages, it not being permissible to mark with a brush. It is also required that a consecutive number appear on packages, the number corresponding with the number stated in the invoices, consular documents and other shipping papers. Exporters should follow this rule in marking packages for any foreign countries.

To other than English-speaking countries, it is most advisable that, in addition to the name and address of consignees, a designating mark be used; for instance, the initials of the consignees in large letters enclosed in a diamond or triangle. The logic of this is that the employees on the docks and in Custom Houses at ports or destinations in other than English-speaking countries frequently have difficulty in identifying packages from the names shown, whereas they can readily identify the packages from a distinctive mark.

Many exporters find it well worth while to stencil the marks and address with consecutive serial numbers on all sides and the ends of cases. The advantage of this is that at congested docks or Custom Houses the packages can be identified EXPORT TRAFFIC

and readily segregated when any side or end is visible. Goods marked on only one

side of the case frequently become covered or surrounded by other cases, and EXPORT GOODS employees at docks or Custom Houses will report that the goods cannot be located,

causing delays which may be avoided when packages are marked on several or all sides and ends, so that they can be readily identified.


The freight forwarding, or freight contracting, business is divided into two classes: Foreign and Domestic.

A reliable shipping agent should be able to handle in every detail any shipments that may be offered for transportation to foreign countries, and the service should include arrangements for the necessary insurance to protect the goods against conditions brought about by war, theft, pilferage, loss and damage of any kind, and attention to any customs papers required to clear the shipment at the port of exit, including any Government documents required by the importing country. It is also his affair to arrange ocean shipping permits and clearance of the shipment at the port. If the shipper does not have a large volume of foreign

traffic, it would be most advisable for him to investigate and secure the services FREIGHT CON

of a reliable shipping agency as it will mean a material saving in the handling of foreign shipments. Advice is often given by shipping agents as to the manner in which the shipment should be packed. The shipper is especially cautioned concerning the special conditions that are liable to arise in connection with a shipment to a foreign country. It is the practice of many large exporters to utilize the service of a shipping agent, the advantage of this being apparent from the fact that specialists in foreign transportation are in daily touch with the possibilities of securing low ocean rates. The shipping agent should possess knowledge concerning the placing of insurance for the protection of property, also he frequently has financial connections which will enable exporters to obtain their money promptly after the goods are cleared at the port. The larger shipping concerns maintain offices at Atlantic ports, Gulf ports and Pacific ports, and in some cases have branches in Canada and connections in foreign countries.




In placing orders for goods to be shipped from a foreign country, it is important that the terms of delivery be clearly outlined in the negotiations, particularly as to the part, if any, of the through transportation charges the foreign supplier will assume.

It is important that foreign shippers be required to forward promptly bills of lading and invoices as hereinafter mentioned, as delayed arrival of such documents will usually create additional expenses at port of arrival on account of inability to make prompt entry at the Custon House.

Goods entering the United States from foreign countries are, on landing, automatically under control of the United States Collector of Customs, and cannot be moved until customs formalities are complied with. They are, with few exceptions, dutiable and, whether dutiable or not, must go through the routine of being cleared through the customs.

To properly control importation of goods, the Treasury Department requires

that all vessels, upon arriving at the port, file with the Collector of the Port a copy of UNITED STATES the ship’s manifest, which document is a detailed summary of all goods that are aboard REQUIREMENTS the vessel. After notification of the arrival of the vessel at the port a permit is issued,

which authorizes the landing of shipments.

Unless "entry” for payment of duty or forwarding “in bond” to interior is presented at the Custom House within 48 hours after landing, they are sent under "General Order” to bonded warehouse to be held until entry is made. This causes heavy expense for storage, labor in and out of bonded warehouse plus extra cartage expenses. It is very important, therefore, that customs entry arrangements be promptly made. This operation should be attended to by some one experienced in the formalities of clearing shipments. It is incumbent upon the importer or his representative who clears the shipment to prepare and submit to the Collector of Customs a form of "entry" sbowing the exact description of the goods together with the rates at which they are dutiable. This is referred to as a “duty paid” or “consumption entry." Unless customs entries are correctly made, delivery of the goods will be delayed until all errors and omissions are corrected by a United States appraiser. On regular importations or quantity shipments, progress in clearing shipments is very slow unless expert aid is engaged. There are many Custom House Brokers who specialize in the business of clearing shipments through customs.


When imported merchandise is valued in excess of $100.00 it is necessary to submit a consular invoice to the Collector of Customs, together with the Customs Entry. The United States consular invoice must be procured by the foreign shipper from the United States Consul located at or nearest to the foreign shipping point. Failure of the shipper to make proper arrangements for the United States consular invoice, and to forward such document promptly to the United States importer to be used for Customs purposes, causes difficulty in clearanoes and, further, makes necessary the giving of a bond for the later production of the consular invoice. A fee is charged for such bond. Many of the suppliers located in foreign countries who make regular shipments to the United States are familiar with this requirement, but it is always well, in negotiating for purchases in foreign countries, to stipulate that a United States consular invoice is necessary and should be procured by the foreign supplier and sent promptly to the United

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