International Standard Banking Practice

Air transport Document

Paragraph H1 to H27


Application of UCP 600 article 23

H1) A requirement in a credit for the presentation of an air transport document, however named, covering an airport-to-airport shipment means that UCP 600 article 23 is to be applied in the examination of that document.

H2) An air transport document need not be titled "air waybill", "air consignment note" or words of similar effect even when the credit so names the required document.

Issuance, carrier, identification of the carrier and signing of an air transport document

H3) a. An air transport document may be issued by any entity other than a carrier provided it meets the requirements of UCP 600 article 23.

b. When a credit indicates "Freight Forwarder's air waybill is acceptable" or "House air waybill is acceptable" or words of similar effect, an air transport document may be signed by the issuing entity without it being necessary to indicate the capacity in which it has been signed or the name of the carrier.

H4) A stipulation in a credit that "Freight Forwarder's air waybill is not acceptable" or "House air waybill is not acceptable" or words of similar effect has no meaning in the context of the title, format, content or signing of an air transport document unless the credit provides specific requirements detailing how the air transport document is to be issued and signed. In the absence of these requirements, such a stipulation is to be disregarded, and the air transport document presented is to be examined according to the requirements of UCP 600 article 23.

H5) a. An air transport document is to be signed in the form described in UCP 600 sub-article 23 (a) (i) and to indicate the name of the carrier, identified as the carrier.

b. When an air transport document is signed by a named branch of the carrier, the signature is considered to have been made by the carrier.

c. The carrier is to be identified by its name instead of an IATA airline code, for example, British Airways instead of BA, Lufthansa instead of LH.

H6) When an agent signs an air transport document "for [or on behalf of] the carrier", the agent is to be named and, in addition, to indicate that it is signing as "agent for (name), the carrier" or as "agent on behalf of (name), the carrier" or words of similar effect. When the carrier is identified elsewhere in the document as the "carrier", the named agent may sign, for example, as "agent for [or on behalf of] the carrier" without naming the carrier again.

Goods accepted for carriage, date of shipment and requirement for an actual date of shipment

H7) An air transport document is to indicate that the goods have been accepted for carriage or words of similar effect.

H8) a. An air transport document is to indicate a date of issuance. This date will be deemed to be the date of shipment unless an air transport document contains a specific notation of the actual date of shipment. In the latter event, the date stated in the notation will be deemed to be the date of shipment whether that date is before or after the issuance date of the air transport document.

b. In the absence of a specific notation containing the actual date of shipment, any other information appearing on an air transport document relative to this information (including, for example, in a box labeled "For Carrier Use Only", "Required Flight Date" or "Routing and Destination") is to be disregarded in the determination of the date of shipment.

Airports of departure and destination

H9) An air transport document is to indicate the airport of departure and airport of destination stated in the credit. When a credit indicates either of these airports by also stating the country in which the airport is located, the name of the country need not be stated.

H10) The airport of departure and airport of destination may also be indicated by the use of IATA codes instead of evidencing the airport name in full (for example, LAX instead of Los Angeles).

H11) When a credit indicates a geographical area or range of airports of departure or destination (for example, "Any Chinese Airport" or "Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou airport"), an air transport document is to indicate the actual airport of departure or destination, which is to be within that geographical area or range of airports. An air transport document need not indicate the geographical area.

Original of an air transport document

H12) An air transport document is to appear to be the original for consignor or shipper. When a credit requires a full set of originals, this is satisfied by the presentation of an air transport document indicating that it is the original for consignor or shipper.

Consignee, order party and notify party

H13) a. When a credit requires an air transport document to evidence that goods are consigned "to order of (named entity)", it may indicate that the goods are consigned to that entity, without mentioning "to order of".

b. When a credit requires an air transport document to evidence that goods are consigned "to order" without naming the entity to whose order the goods are to be consigned, it is to indicate that the goods are consigned to either the issuing bank or the applicant, without the need to mention the words "to order".

H14) a. When a credit stipulates the details of one or more notify parties, an air transport document may also indicate the details of one or more additional notify parties.

b. i. When a credit does not stipulate the details of a notify party, an air transport document may indicate the details of any notify party and in any manner (except as stated in paragraph H14) (b) (ii)).

ii. When a credit does not stipulate the details of a notify party, but the details of the applicant appear as notify party on an air transport document, and these details include the applicant's address and contact details, they are not to conflict with those stated in the credit.

H15) When a credit requires an air transport document to evidence goods consigned to "issuing bank" or "applicant" or notify "applicant" or "issuing bank", an air transport document is to indicate the name of the issuing bank or applicant, as applicable, but need not indicate their respective addresses or any contact details that may be stated in the credit.

H16) When the address and contact details of the applicant appear as part of the consignee or notify party details, they are not to conflict with those stated in the credit.

Transhipment, partial shipment and determining the presentation period when multiple air transport documents are presented

H17) Transhipment is the unloading and reloading of goods from one aircraft to another during the carriage of those goods from the airport of departure to the airport of destination stated in the credit. When an air transport document does not indicate unloading and reloading between these two airports, it is not transhipment in the context of the credit and UCP 600 sub-articles 23 (b) and (c).

H18) Dispatch on more than one aircraft is a partial shipment, even if each aircraft leaves on the same day for the same destination.

H19) a. When a credit prohibits partial shipment, and more than one air transport documents are presented covering dispatch from one or more airports of departure (as specifically allowed, or within a geographical area or range of airports stated in the credit), each air transport document is to indicate that it covers the dispatch of goods on the same aircraft and same flight and that the goods are destined for the same airport of destination.

b. When a credit prohibits partial shipment, and more than one air transport documents are presented in accordance with paragraph H19) (a) and incorporate different dates of dispatch, the latest of these dates is to be used for the calculation of any presentation period and must fall on or before the latest shipment date stated in the credit.

c. When partial shipment is allowed, and more than one air transport documents are presented as part of a single presentation made under one covering schedule or letter and incorporate different dates of dispatch or different flights, the earliest of these dates is to be used for the calculation of any presentation period, and each of these dates must fall on or before the latest shipment date stated in the credit.

Clean air transport document

H20) An air transport document is not to include a clause or clauses that expressly declare a defective condition of the goods or their packaging.

For example:

a. A clause on an air transport document such as "packaging is not sufficient for the air journey" or words of similar effect is an example of a clause expressly declaring a defective condition of the packaging.

b. A clause on an air transport document such as "packaging may not be sufficient for the air journey" or words of similar effect does not expressly declare a defective condition of the packaging.

H21) a. It is not necessary for the word "clean" to appear on an air transport document even when the credit requires an air transport document to be marked "clean".

b. Deletion of the word "clean" on an air transport document does not expressly declare a defective condition of the goods or their packaging.

Goods description

H22) A goods description indicated on an air transport document may be in general terms not in conflict with the goods description in the credit.

Corrections and alterations ("corrections")

H23) Any correction of data on an air transport document is to be authenticated. Such authentication is to appear to have been made by the carrier or any one of its named agents, who may be different from the agent that may have issued or signed the air transport document, provided they are identified as an agent of the carrier.

H24) Copies of an air transport document need not include authentication of any corrections that may have been made on the original.

Freight and additional costs

H25) A statement appearing on an air transport document indicating the payment of freight need not be identical to that stated in the credit, but is not to conflict with data in that document, any other stipulated document or the credit. For example, when a credit requires an air transport document to be marked "freight collect", it may be marked "freight payable at destination".

H26) An air transport document may contain separate boxes, which by their pre-printed headings indicate that they are for freight charges "prepaid" and for freight charges "collect".

a. When a credit requires an air transport document to show that freight has been prepaid, this will also be fulfilled by an indication of the freight charges under the heading "Freight Charges Prepaid" or words of similar effect.

b. When a credit requires an air transport document to show that freight is to be collected or paid at destination, this will also be fulfilled by an indication of the freight charges under the heading "Freight Charges Collect" or words of similar effect.

H27) a. When a credit states that costs additional to freight are not acceptable, an air transport document is not to indicate that costs additional to the freight have been or will be incurred.

b. Reference in an air transport document to costs which may be levied, for example, as a result of a delay in unloading the goods or after the goods have been unloaded, is not an indication of costs additional to freight.