Clean Bill of Lading – Definition

Cite this article as:"Clean Bill of Lading – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated January 10, 2020, last accessed October 23, 2020,


Clean Bill Of Lading Definition

A clean bill of lading is a document issued by a carrier which indicates that the goods received in the vessel are in good condition and without any damage or defect. Product carriers issue a clean bill of lading when the bill is free from clauses, negative remarks or notation of defects.

Before carriers can issue a clean bill of lading, a thorough inspection of the goods in the vessel must take place in order to detect damage or loss that might have occurred.

A Little More on What is a Clean Bill Of Lading

Typically, a clean bill of lading is a type of bill of lading signed by the carrier which indicates that the delivered goods are not damaged and are in perfect condition. A clean bill of lading can also be signed by a party or representative authorized by the carrier.

The carrier or his representative is required to examine the goods to ascertain their status, quality and quantity before a clean bill of lading can be signed or issued. An unclean (dirty) bill of lading is the opposite of a clean bill of lading, this kind of bill of lading is issued when there are notations of defect or clause on the shipped goods.

Specifics of a Clean Bill of Lading

A bill of lading is an official document between a carrier and shipper of goods, this document can also serve as evidence of the delivery of goods to an agreed location. A bill of lading contains the following information;

  • The type of product being shipped.
  • Quality and quantity of the products.
  • The predetermined destination.

A clean bill of lading, however, indicates that a carrier received the shipped goods without any damage or loss to them. Absence of a clean bill of lading stalls the acceptance of goods by importers because it indicates that the losses, defects or damages have occurred to the goods.

Reference for “Clean Bill Of Lading”

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