What does cy/cy mean on a bill of lading?

Bill of lading, which is a transport document evidences receipt of cargo, contract of carriage and represents title of goods, is mostly used in international port-to-port sea shipments.

A bill of lading should normally state the port of loading and port of discharge.

Port of loading is the place where the goods are shipped on board a vessel. Port of discharge is the place where the vessel is off-loaded and the goods are distributed to their respective consignees.

Some bills of lading contain "cy/cy" term in addition to port of loading and port of discharge.

Today I would like to explain the meaning of "cy/cy" term as seen on the bills of lading.

What is the definition of "cy/cy" term which is stated on the bill of lading:

"CY/CY" term stands for "container yard to container yard" in international shipping. Which means that the carrier accepts the goods at the container yard located within the port of lading and delivers them to a container yard located within the port of discharge.

It is worth mentioning that container yards are also known as terminals and in limited occasions they may be placed outside of the port of lading or port of discharge.

Sample definition of "CY/CY" term from one of the biggest multinational container carrier's bill of lading?

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd is one of the leading carriers in the global container shipping industry. Below you can find the definition of "CY/CY" term from ZIM's bill of lading:
"CY/CY" carriage terms - means that the Container has been inspected, accepted, stuffed and sealed by the Merchant, or his agents, and the unsealing and unstuffing of such Container shall also be performed by the Merchant or his agents, all at the Merchant’s sole risk and responsibility.

What are the implications of "cy/cy" term usage on the bills of lading?

There are two significant effects statement of cy/cy term on the bill of lading:
  1. Stuffing and Unstuffing Responsibility: By declaring cy/cy term on the bill of lading, carrier certifies that the stuffing and unstuffing of the container will be handled by the shipper and all responsibility related to wrong stowage of the container belongs to the shipper and consignee, as the case may be. This clause is very important in cargo insurance claims, as insurance companies will not be paying any claims if loss damage or expense caused by insufficiency or unsuitability of packing or preparation of the subject matter insured to withstand the ordinary incidents of the insured transit where such packing or preparation is carried out by the Assured or their employees. (for further reference please read What are the differences between Institute Cargo Clauses A and Institute Cargo Clauses C?
  2. Delivery Place: When carrier declares that he will receive the goods at the container yard (terminal), then the shipper delivers the goods to the buyer at that point according to certain incoterms rules. For example, under FOB incoterms rules seller delivers the goods to the buyer as soon as goods are shipped on board a vessel. But if bill of lading states that carrier receives the goods at the container yard, then it would not be logical to use FOB incoterms with such a bill of lading. Instead of FOB incoterms, parties should choose FCA incoterms in these situations. (for further reference please read ICC recommends FCA instead of FOB in containerized shipments. But why?)