Who can sign a charter party bill of lading as per UCP 600?

Letter of credit rules give special attention to transport documents.

If you read the latest version of letter of credit rules, UCP 600, you will realize that all transport documents have been specified in very detail.

UCP 600 rules define by whom each transport document must be signed in order be acceptable under letter of credit transactions.

For example UCP 600 article 20 states that a bill of lading, however named, must appear to indicate the name of the carrier and be signed by the carrier or a named agent for or on behalf of the carrier, or the master or a named agent for or on behalf of the master.


Today I would like to explain by whom a charter party bill of lading should be signed as per UCP 600?

Who can sign a charter party bill of lading as per UCP 600?

According to letter of credit rules a charter party bill of lading should be signed by a master, an owner, a charterer or their agents.

UCP 600 article 22 states that a bill of lading, however named, containing an indication that it is subject to a charter party (charter party bill of lading), must appear to be signed by the master or a named agent for or on behalf of the master, or the owner or a named agent for or on behalf of the owner, or the charterer or a named agent for or on behalf of the charterer.

Any signature seen on the charter party bill of lading by the master, owner, charterer or agent must be identified as that of the master, owner, charterer or agent.

Additionally, any signature by an agent must indicate whether the agent has signed for or on behalf of the master, owner or charterer.

An agent signing for or on behalf of the owner or charterer must indicate the name of the owner or charterer.

Example of a charter party bill of lading which is signed by the agent of the owner:

Below you can find a charter party bill of lading, which is signed by the agent of the shipowner.

Both agent's and shipowner's company name indicated on the charter party bill of lading.

Additionally agent mentioned on the face of the document that he signed the charter party bill of lading on behalf of the named shipowner.

This kind of signature is acceptable according to letter of credit rules.



If you would like to learn what makes bill of lading a charter party bill of lading, please read my article titled with "What is a charter party bill of lading?"

Is it possible to present a Charter Party Bill of Lading (CPBL) issued and signed by the carrier or a named agent on behalf of the carrier?

According to letter of credit rules, banks do not accept CPBLs signed by the carrier or a named agent on behalf of the carrier.

ICC Banking Commission explains the reason as follows:
When a credit simply allows for or requires the presentation of a charter party bill of lading (CPBL), a CPBL issued and signed by a carrier or its agent is discrepant under UCP 600 sub-article 22 (a) (i).
The reason for excluding such CPBLs from this sub-article was to avoid document examiners having to determine who, of a possible number of different entities ranging from the owner to charterers and sub-charterers, might be the contractual carrier under the contract of carriage as evidenced by or contained in the CPBL. The reasoning underlying the current terms of the sub-article is consistent with the principle that document examiners must examine a presentation to determine, on the basis of the documents alone, whether or not the documents (in this case a CPBL) appear on their face to constitute a complying presentation, without examining the terms of the contract of carriage for that CPBL. (Source:Official Opinion TA775rev)
Blogger Widget