Ante dating

There is an implied obligation to exercise due care in the dating of the bill. In most international sale contracts the tender of a wrongly dated bill of lading qualifies as breach of a condition and entitles the buyer to reject the bill and to treat the contract of sale as repudiated.Where payment of the cargo is arranged through a letter of credit, the credit often states a date for shipment of the goods, so that the date of the bill of lading is also relevant.The correct dating of the bill of lading is a matter of great importance.It is material in the context of the contract of carriage, the contract of sale and the documentary credit transaction if payment of the cargo is arranged through a letter of credit.Under the contract of carriage the shipper is entitled to demand that the bill of lading be dated correctly.If the Master or another agent of the carrier negligently misdates the bill, the carrier as principal is liable in damages if the shipper has suffered a loss as a result of the misdating.Members should also be aware that cover is excluded in these cases even if the bill of lading was issued by the Member’s agent without the Member’s knowledge of its incorrect dating.Since there are occasions when Members are unable to avoid liabilities or costs due to the issue of ante-dated, or occasionally post-dated bills of lading (for example due to errors by agents or masters and officers), the Association’s Extended Cargo Cover and Comprehensive Carriers’ Liability Cover are able to provide protection.

The carrier may amend any previously issued document in order to meet the shipper’s demand for a ‘shipped’ bill of lading if, as amended, such document includes all the information required to be contained in a ‘shipped’ bill of lading."Where payment of the cargo is arranged through a letter of credit, the terms of the credit may provide that the bills of lading to be tendered have to be "clean, on board, to order and blank endorsed".A person who deliberately backdates a bill of lading in order to bring it within the shipment time in the credit acts fraudulently."Shipped" and "Received for Shipment" Bills of Lading Depending on the time when the carrier takes over the goods, a bill of lading may be a "shipped" or a "received for shipment" bill.A "received for shipment" bill does not satisfy these terms because it is not an "on board" bill, but the International Chamber of Commerce’s Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits(UCP), like the Hague, Hague-Visby and Hamburg Rules, equate a "received" bill which has been duly notated to a "shipped" bill.The UCP 500 provide in Article 23(a) (ii):"Loading on board or shipment on a named vessel may be indicated by pre-printed wording on the bill of lading that the goods have been loaded on board a named vessel or shipped on a named vessel, in which case the date of issuance of the bill of lading will be deemed to be the date of loading on board and the date of shipment.

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