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Part II Electronic Documents: Legal Framework, 5 Carriage Documents and the Functions that They Perform

From: Electronic Documents in Maritime Trade: Law and Practice (2nd Edition)

Miriam Goldby

From: Oxford Legal Research Library (http://olrl.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 31 January 2023

Documents of carriage — Sea waybills — Contract — Bills of lading

This chapter assesses carriage documents and the functions that they perform. Where goods are transported pursuant to an international sale contract, the carrier contracted to transport the goods will issue a document covering the transport. According to its nature and type, this document will perform a variety of functions. Traditionally, the document issued was the bill of lading. The modern bill of lading performs three functions: it performs the evidentiary function of a receipt; it evidences or contains the contract of carriage; and it also performs the function of a document of title. More recently, alternative documents have become popular—most notably, sea waybills, which are modelled on air waybills and which are not negotiable, and do not therefore perform the same functions as bills of lading. Meanwhile, delivery orders are used in the sale of goods that have been shipped in bulk.

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