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 , CTCS, CBSA Professional Designate

Cherie Storms is the Operations Manager with Pacific Customs Brokers, Canada with over 15 years in international trade operations and regulatory experience. After she joined the company in 2007 she has become an Executive Board Member for the Canadian Customs Brokers Society, BC Region, and was invited to speak at the Women in Transportation Annual General Meeting in 2010 regarding her experience with running the international logistics efforts of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Cherie is also a member of CCB's National Commercial Operations and eManifest Committee. In September of 2018, Cherie became a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadain Society of Customs Brokers. Cherie has spoken at many seminars on the importance of trade compliance and is currently enrolled in the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Business Management Program with the goal of becoming 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.