Bills of Lading: Law and practice

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Intended as a practical guide for those engaged in the shipping business, this is an updated book on the way a bill of lading works. The document changes with the times to meet the needs of modern conditions and the banking rules of the International Chamber of Commerce. Since the publication of the first edition there have been several changes and developments in shipping documentation including advances in the transmission of information passed from one computer to another by Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), now gradually replacing the conventional methods of document reproduction in international trade between countries where such facilities are available. The despatch to and receipt of manifests and other freight details at destination ports is just one example of the benefits of EDI, because the arrival of a ship before the manifest is occasionally a serious problem. With the adoption of new electronic routines, it is possible that bills of lading as we know them today may eventually be replaced by transmitted document. The problem of dispensing with original signatures would have to be overcome and perhaps changes in the documentary credit procedures will be needed to enable one bank rather than two to complete the transaction. This could be regarded as a futuristic view, but undoubtedly an interesting future lies ahead with the influence of the microchip. Also included are additional chapters on a clean bill of lading, delivery of cargo, manifests and the U.N Convention on International Multi-Modal Transport of Goods, 1980.

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