What happens if Date difference in HBL and MBL


What happens if Date difference in HBL & MBL


Could the date of HBL and the date of MBL be different?


What is the earliest date can be mentioned in a House Bill of Lading? What would be the earliest date in a Master Bill of Lading?


I have written a couple of articles in same website about the details of House Bill of Lading and Master bill of lading. These articles help you to have a deep knowledge on the mechanism of HBL and MBL.


Now let us discuss - Is compulsory to mention same date of issue in HBL and MBL. Is there any problem on different date in HBL and MBL?


House bill of lading is the BL issued by a freight forwarder/consolidator to the final shipper/exporter once after receipt of goods along with necessary legal export document proving, completion of customs formalities. The said freight forwarder mentions date in House Bill of Lading on the date of issue of such document. The date of bill of lading should not be prior to completion of export customs formalities.


Once after receipt of goods along with proof of completion of export customs formalities, the freight forwarder delivers cargo to main carrier and obtains Master bill of lading. The date of master bill of lading should not be prior to the date of completion of customs formalities.


The question is, whether the date of HBL and MBL could be the same or can be different. Normally the date of house bill of Lading and the date of Master bill of lading is mentioned same. However, if the date of MBL and HBL differs, there is no inconvenience or error in smooth delivery of cargo to final consignee at destination port.


I could see among information posted in internet that the HBL date and MBL date must be same. But, during my career for the past 25 years in the trade, I have never faced any inconvenience due to different dates in HBL and MBL.


I hope, I have satisfied you on the subject – ‘Is it compulsory to mention same date in House Bill of Lading and Master Bill of Lading?’


Please share your experience in handling HBL and MBL.


The above information is a part of Online Export Import course 


Comment below your thoughts on this subject about date of House Bill of Lading and date of Master Bill of Lading.


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SUBHASH CHAHAR: Your articles are informative and have proved to be of immense help. I have one query which actually arose while going through the article on difference between HBL and MBL.Is it necessary that one voyage will contain the goods handed over by one forwarder only. If not then whose name will be mentioned in MBL as the shipper.

Nayan Chavda: Have read your article "What happen if date is not match between HBL and MBL. it's really a good and helpful. Normally MBL and HBL date of issue is same. If any of technical reason, both BL's date are mismatch. I just want to know how carrier will file IGM at destination ?

Surendran Kollerath: Hi Nayan Chavda, I have written a separate article in this website about this issue. Please go through the same.

Subhash Chahar: Your articles are very informative and have proved to be of immense help. One query arose while I was going through your article on HBL & MBL. The query is “ Is it necessary that a liner will accept goods from one forwarder only? If not, then whose name will appear on the MBL in case of multiple consignments from multiple forwarders on a same ship? Whether MBL is of any importance to the exporter (the supplier who handed the goods to forwarder)? If so, can the exporter ask for a copy of the MBL?

Admin: Hi Subhash Chahar, The shipper can also directly arrange Bill of lading to consignee without HBL and MBL involvement.

Rajesh: As per import export policy date of shipment/dispatch in respect of imports by sea is the date affixed on bill of lading. If the date of HBL & MBL are different, than please advise that which date will be taken into for this purpose and reasons for the selection.

S Bhatt: It is in the best interest of the shipper exporter to have a HBL with same date as of MBL as it would be conclusive evidence that the cargo has been actually acknowledged as received by the vessel (of course with completion of all Custom formalities and obligations)...more so, when CHA do issue Bill of Ladings even before cargo is on board. If the HBL and MBL dates are different, then shipper exporter should inquire about the reasons/cause of such delay/difference in the dates to satisfy himself of the genuineness and the credibility of the CHA/freight forwarder.

Mwanaisha Atitwa: Hi, i suggest the dates to appear on the MBL and HBL should be the same. As per my last experience. My government gazetted out saying every incoming shipment to the state should be accompanied along with the Certificate of conformity(CoC) commencing on 31/12/2015. Now, the shipment was handed over by the freight forwarder/Expoter on port terminal just few days before the time frame for the Inspection notice by the Government. this was date 27/12/2015 when the customs procedure were completed and shipment handed over. on HBL the date indicated show, the shipment was received on 27/12/2015. When the MBL was processed, Main line indicated that the Shipment was placed on board on 2/1/2016. Here comes, a problem. when the vessel arrived and customs procedure on progress,the government inspection agency rejects and held the cargo claiming the shipment left the exporting country after the state notice aired out.Can you imagine we were in disputed for one whole week trying to figure out when the shipment left to the state. the MBL says on 2nd jan 2016 while HBL says 27th dec 2015. Basing on the above,its fair the two transport documents to be same to avoid any inconvience. Thank you.

Parag Mphanty: How to ensure that HBL is not misused. Noted some where that the Forwarder has issued multiple HBL to different Shipper against a particular MBL which was back to back with HBL. This HBL were used for fraudulent negotiation in Bank and payment was taken.

Q: Hi, Is it Okay if Description on MBL and HBL is not matched, I mean my agent want the detail on MBL was mentioned at least as possible but BL instructions from customer contains a lot of detail and they need it to mention on HBL. THANKS

Sina Ry: If the date on HBL and MBL is differed, you cannot proceed customs clearance in Cambodia.

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