Do You Know the Differences between Master B/L and House B/L?

2021-01-26 Source: Jctrans

Master B/L and House B/L are the main two documents in logistcis business.What are the differences between them?How to differentiate H B/L and M B/L?This blog will explain to you.


Master B/L refers to the B/L signed and issued by shipping company,it can be signed and issued to direct shipper(freight agency won’t send B/L now) and also to freight agency( Forwarder sends B/L to terminal client now).

House B/L ,technically named NVOCC (Non-vessel operating common carrier) B/L,it can be signed and issued to terminal client,and sometimes a B/L is used by a trade, in which case the B/L is issued to the trade, which in turn issues its own B/L to its terminal client.

For exporter,these two kinds of B/L can be used as the negotiating documents,banks accept them.

The differences between M B/L and H B/L

1. The contents in the column of SHIPPER and CONSIGNEE on the B/L are different.

The H B/L is the actual exporter (terminal client), and the CONSIGNEE usually fills in the same column of the shipping order in accordance with the provisions of the letter of credit, usually "TO ORDER";When the M B/L is issued to the actual exporter, the SHIPPER shall fill in the exporter, and the CONSIGNEE shall fill in the contents of the consignment order.When issued to the forwarder, the SHIPPER shall be the forwarder and the CONSIGNEE the forwarder's agent at the port of destination.

2.Procedures for D/O at destination port are different.

As long as you hold the M B/L, you can directly go to the shipping agency of the destination port to exchange for the import B/L. The procedure is simple and fast, and the cost is relatively fixed and cheap.

The holder of H B/L must exchange for M B/L at the forwarder at the port of destination before he can get the B/L and go through customs clearance and pick-up procedures. However, the cost of changing the order is relatively expensive and variable, which is entirely decided by the forwarder at the port of destination.

3.As an ocean B/L, M B/L is the most basic and true document of property right. The shipping company will deliver the goods to the consignee indicated on M B/L at the port of destination.

If the exporter gets the H B/L, it means that the actual control of the goods shipped is in the hands of the forwarder (at this time, the consignee of the M B/L is the forwarder's agent at the port of destination). If the forwarder company goes bankrupt, the exporter (importer) cannot pick up the goods with H one-way shipping company.

4.For FCL goods, both M B/L and H B/L can be issued, while LCL goods can only be issued H B/L, because the shipping company will not help the shipper to LCL, and will not help the shipper to separate the goods at the port of destination.

5.The B/L number of the general freight forwarding bill does not enter the customs manifest management system, which is different from the B/L number on the import declaration form.There is the name and contact method of the D/O company on the forwarder B/L, and the contact company is not the foreign agent or port shipping agent.


The process of M B/L and H B/L

1. The SHIPPER sends the shipping document to the FORWARDER, indicating FCL or LCL.


2. The FORWARDER booked the cabin with the shipping company and the ship was ON BOARD.Shipping company issues MBL to FORWARDER.The SHIPPER of MBL is the FORWARDER of the port of departure, while Cnee is generally the branch or agent of the port of destination of FORWARDER.


3. Fowarder signs HBL to Shipper.H B/L SHIPPER is the real SHIPPER.CNEE usually makes letter of credit is "TO ORDER".


The goods arrive at the port of destination after the ship leaves.


5. Forwarder will send M B/L via DHL/UPS/TNT to branch at the port of destination.(Including: Custom Clearance Docs)


6. After getting the B/L, the SHIPPER shall submit the B/L to the domestic negotiating bank and settle the exchange within the delivery period.If we do T/T SHPPER, we will directly send the documents to the foreign customers.


7. Negotiating bank shall deliver the full set of documents to opening bank for settlement.


8. Consignee's payment to the issuing bank.


9. The FORWARDER at the destination port takes the MBL to the shipping company to change the order, pick up the goods and clear the customs.


10. Consignee takes HBL to FORWARDER for delivery.

How to differentiate H B/L and M B/L?

The surface distinction of HBL and MBL: it can be distinguished from CARRIER's or FOWARDER's B/L from the title.

The main ways to differentiate M B/L and H B/L

1. H B/L is not acceptable if there is no special provision in the credit.

2. The main dierence between H B/L and M B/L are title and signature.


Issuer and signature of M B/L, ISBP and UCP600 clearly stipulate that the carrier, captain or their named agent signed and issued, the title of which is the name of the shipping company.


The H B/L is only issued in the name of the forwarder, do not have to show the name of the carrier, do not have to show that it is the carrier, the captain's agent.


Finally, H B/L, there was a general freight forwarders B/L, namely general freight forwarders B/L, as long as they have agent at the port of destination, or can lend agent, can sign the B/L, the B/L is not very strict norms in practice.

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