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Web Alert: Brazilian Customs reintroduce the obligation to produce the original bill of lading for taking delivery

27 November 2017

In 2013 the Brazilian Customs authorities authorised terminals to allow delivery of cargo upon the presentation of an Import Declaration, a copy of the Bill of Lading (front and reverse) and proof that they have paid the respective taxes, without the need for the importer/consignee to produce the original Bill of Lading. This was concerning for carriers because cargo released by the terminal without production of the original Bill of Lading clearly increases the risk of mis-delivery, with little or no recourse for the carrier against terminals as they are ‘complying’ with the local law.

However, in response to pressure from the maritime industry, the Customs authorities have now reintroduced the obligation of the receiver / consignee to produce the original Bill of Lading, along with various other customs documentation, before delivery of the goods can be made from ports and terminals.

This is a welcome development for carriers and their P&I insurers as it considerably reduces the risk of mis-delivery claims and brings Brazil back into line with well-established international law and practice.