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Definition: Non-Negotiable Bill of Lading
Bill of Lading that cannot be transferred by endorsement is called a Non-Negotiable Bill of Lading. A negotiable bill of lading instructs the carrier to deliver goods to anyone in possession of the original endorsed negotiable bill, which itself represents title to and control of the goods.
A non-negotiable bill of lading sets out a specific consignee to whom the goods are to be shipped, and does not itself represent ownership of the goods. Because of this, a negotiable bill of lading must be used for a documentary sale.
Non-Negotiable Bill of Lading is also known as Straight Bill of Lading.
A Non-Negotiable BOL is not treated as a true Bill of Lading. Instead, it is treated as a sea waybill.
The main difference between a BOL and a Sea Waybill is that the sea waybill does not confer title of the goods to the bearer, thus eliminating the need to present the physical document for the goods to be released. Once the import formalities have been completed between the two parties, the carrier releases the goods to the consignee. This results in a much smoother flow of goods and services between the two ports. This has allowed shipping lines to adopt electronic data interchange which may further ease the flow of trade around the world.
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