The Importance Of A Bill Of Lading | Part 1

What Is A Bill Of Lading?

A Bill Of Lading (BOL) is a legal document between the shipper of particular goods and the carrier detailing the type, quantity, date of direct shipment and destination of the goods being carried. The Bill of Lading also serves as a receipt of shipment when the goods are delivered to the predetermined destination. This document must accompany the shipped goods, no matter the form of transportation, and must be signed by an authorized representative from the carrier, shipper and receiver. The carrier or the shipper can complete it, but the driver of the transport company is to sign and date it once the goods are on-board.

Importance Of A Bill Of Lading | Part 2

What Does Customs Look For On A Bill Of Lading?

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) requires to know:

  • The number of pieces
  • Total weight, and
  • Date of direct shipment for each shipment on board

The number of pieces, total weight and date of direct shipment is a requirement for the declaration made by the Importer of Record/Customs Broker. It is highly recommended that you provide a copy of the Bill of Lading to the Importer of Record/Customs Broker so that the information can be confirmed against the corresponding invoice(s) being declared. If it is not provided to the Customs Broker, the carrier must still advise by other means, the number of pieces, total weight and date of direct shipment.

A carrier must always make the Bill of Lading available to a CBSA officer in the event it is requested.

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About Author
Cherie Storms
CCS (CA & US), CTCS, CBSA Prof. Designate

Cherie Storms is the Canadian Operations Manager with PCB Customs Brokers, with over 18 years in international trade operations and regulatory experience. Since joining the company in 2007, she has become an Executive Board Member for the Canadian Customs Brokers Society, BC Region, and spoke at the Women in Transportation Annual General Meeting in 2010 regarding her experience running international logistics for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Cherie is a member of CSCB's National Commercial Operations and eManifest Committee and sits on the Canadian Society of Customs Brokers' Board of Directors. In 2020, Cherie received the Emerging Leader award in the annual Surrey Board of Trade, Surrey Women in Business Awards. In her off time, Cherie is a motorsports driver for the Shift Up Now racing team, SCCA and CACC Women on Track Leader, racing tracks in Daytona and Indianapolis. With multiple championships, Cherie is a leader in the Jr Ambassador Program, encouraging young girls to excel in motorsports. Cherie has spoken at many seminars on the importance of trade compliance. She is currently enrolled in the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Business Management Program to become an international trade lawyer.

While we strive for accuracy in all our communications, as the Importer of Record it is incumbent upon your company to ensure that you are aware of the requirements under the new regulations so that you maintain compliance as always.