Original Bills of Lading During COVID-19 Pandemic

Dear Customers,

During these current times of uncertainty we have received a few inquiries in regards to Original Bills of Lading (OBL’s). At this point in time we are highly recommending that Bills of Lading are being issued as Telex Release at time off Bill printing where possible. If this is not an option with supplier then alternatively the Original Bill of Lading could be surrendered by the Supplier back to the origin Load port issuer (where possible). This may assist in the event of possible increases or disruption to postal and courier services which could result in delay of OBL’s being delivered to your office.

Added to that some shipping lines are consolidating there OBL lodgement area to one state or office while their other state offices are shut and employees work from home. Again we cannot guarantee that OBL’s will arrive in time under these circumstances should there be unforeseen disruptions to courier and postal services. We have also begun to see some shipping lines accept Scanned OBL’s along with a fully signed Letter of Indemnity however this is a decision that will be made by each line individually and we do not know if all lines will make this option available.

We are aware that a lot of our customers transact using Letters of Credit which in most cases require full sets of Original Documents to be issued. If possible please discuss with your bank contacts and LC parties options that may be available for Telex Released Bill of lading where possible.

In any case, as always, SILA will undertake the distribution of OBL’s in the best manner possible under the conditions at that time.

Best regards,

SILA Customer Service