consignee
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{{Admiralty law In a contract of carriage, the consignee is the
entity An entity is something that exists as itself, as a subject or as an object, actually or potentially, concretely or abstractly, physically or not. It need not be of material existence. In particular, abstractions and legal fictions are usually r ...
who is financially responsible (the buyer) for the receipt of a
shipment Freight transport, also referred as ''Freight Forwarding'', is the physical process of transporting Commodity, commodities and merchandise goods and cargo. The term shipping originally referred to transport by sea but in American English, it h ...
. Generally, but not always, the consignee is the same as the receiver. If a sender dispatches an item to a receiver via a delivery service, the sender is the ''
consignor The consignor, in a contract of carriage, is the Party (law), party sending a shipment to be delivered whether by land, sea or air. Some Common carrier, carriers, such as Mail, national postal entities, use the term "sender" or "shipper" but i ...
'', the recipient is the ''consignee'', and the deliverer is the ''
carrier Carrier may refer to: Entertainment * Carrier (album), ''Carrier'' (album), a 2013 album by The Dodos * Carrier (board game), ''Carrier'' (board game), a South Pacific World War II board game * Carrier (TV series), ''Carrier'' (TV series), a ten- ...
''.


A brief statement of law

This is a difficult area of
law Law is a set of rules that are created and are law enforcement, enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. ...
, in that it regulates the mass
transport Transport (in British English), or transportation (in American English), is the intentional Motion, movement of humans, animals, and cargo, goods from one location to another. Mode of transport, Modes of transport include aviation, air, land ...
ation industry, which cannot always guarantee arrival on time or that
goods In economics, goods are items that satisfy human wants and provide utility, for example, to a consumer making a purchase of a satisfying Product (business), product. A common distinction is made between goods which are transferable, and Service ...
will not be damaged in the course of transit. Two other problems are that unpaid consignors or
freight Cargo consists of bulk goods conveyed by water, air, or land. In economics, freight is cargo that is transported at a freight rate for Commerce, commercial gain. ''Cargo'' was originally a shipload but now covers all types of freight, includ ...
carriers may wish to hold goods until payment is made, and that
fraudulent In law, fraud is intent (law), intentional deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate Civil law (common law), civil law (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid t ...
individuals may seek to take delivery in place of the legitimate consignees. The key to resolving such disputes lies in the
documentation Documentation is any communicable material that is used to describe, explain or instruct regarding some attributes of an object, system or procedure, such as its parts, assembly, installation, maintenance and use. As a form of knowledge manageme ...
. The standard form of contract is a
bill of lading A bill of lading () (sometimes abbreviated as B/L or BOL) is a document issued by a common carrier, carrier (or their Law of agency, agent) to acknowledge receipt of good (economics), cargo for shipment. Although the term historically related on ...
which, in international shipping law, is simply a contract for the carriage of goods entered into between the shipper and the carrier that is not a charter party. It is always a term of that contract that the carrier must deliver the goods to a specific receiver.


Documentation and legal requirements for delivery

Straight bills of lading by land or sea, or air
waybill A waybill ( UIC) is a document issued by a carrier Carrier may refer to: Entertainment * Carrier (album), ''Carrier'' (album), a 2013 album by The Dodos * Carrier (board game), ''Carrier'' (board game), a South Pacific World War II board game * ...
are not documents of title to the goods that they represent. They do no more than require delivery of the goods to the named consignee and (subject to the shipper's ability to redirect the goods) to no other. This differs from "order" or "bearer" bills of lading, which are possessory title documents and negotiable, i.e. they can be endorsed and so transfer the right to take delivery to the last endorsee. This aspect of shipping law is regulated by the Hague Rules, and the laws of individual countries, e.g. the UK Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1992 and the U.S. Pomerene Act 1916. There is some international dispute as to whether the consignee on a straight bill must produce the bill in order to take delivery. The U.S. position is that the person taking delivery must prove his or her identity but, as in
Hong Kong Hong Kong ( (US) or (UK); , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (abbr. Hong Kong SAR or HKSAR), is a List of cities in China, city and Special administrative regions of China, special ...
, there is no need to present the bill itself. In the UK there are conflicting ''
obiter dicta ''Obiter dictum'' (usually used in the plural, ''obiter dicta'') is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally a dialect spoken in th ...
'' in "The Rafaela S" 0032 Lloyd's Rep. 113 and "The Happy Ranger" 0022 AER (Comm) 23, so the matter must remain unclear even though there are serious problems, for example, arising from the everyday occurrence of
cargo Cargo consists of bulk goods conveyed by water, air, or land. In economics, freight is cargo that is transported at a freight rate for Commerce, commercial gain. ''Cargo'' was originally a shipload but now covers all types of freight, includ ...
being discharged against letters of indemnity when original bills of lading are not yet available to be presented at the discharge
port A port is a maritime law, maritime facility comprising one or more Wharf, wharves or loading areas, where ships load and discharge Affreightment, cargo and passengers. Although usually situated on a sea coast or estuary, ports can a ...
.


Consignee rights

The rights of the consignee under an air waybill are regulated by the
Warsaw Convention The Convention for the Unification of certain rules relating to international carriage by air, commonly known as the Warsaw Convention, is an international Treaty, convention which regulates liability for international carriage of persons, lugga ...
for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air, 1929 and the
Montreal Convention The Montreal Convention (formally, the Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air) is a multilateral treaty adopted by a diplomatic meeting of ICAO member states in 1999. It amended important provisions of t ...
for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air 1999 and the relevant state laws (which may be one law chosen as the proper law by the parties, or any combination of laws representing the seller, buyer, consignor, and carrier.) This is very important as per export documents. The receiver can be different than that of the consignee. Freight transport Legal documents Contract law Transport law