ELECTRONIC BOL (by VITE SOLUTIONS)


     The world has advanced. The EBOL can be regarded as a soft copy BOL. The CMI rules on Electronic BOL have made this a reality. Furthermore, various sections of the Evidence Act 2011 admit electronic evidence.
Advantages
1. More reliable security: like the use of PIN Codes, and so on.
2.  More flexibility and trustworthiness.
3.  Seamless international transactions and Co-operation

Disadvantages
1.  Fraud: The account of the parties may be hacked. See R v Gold
2.  Internet connectivity issues.
3. Underdeveloped countries with underdeveloped commercial regimes may find it hard to catch up.
4. Common Law courts still reject electronic evidence.

CMI Rules for Electronic BOL
Rule 4 regulates:
1. After the carrier receives goods from the shipper, he is to give notice of receipt to the buyer’s electronic address.
2. The Receipt message shall contain:
    a. Name of the shipper.
    b. Description of goods.
    c. Date and place of receipt of goods.
    d. Reference to the carrier’s terms and conditions of carriage.
    e. A private key to be used in subsequent transactions.
     Then the shipper must confirm the receipt message to the carrier and shipper shall be the owner.
3. (Upon demand by the holder) The receipt message should be updated with the date and place of shipment as soon as the goods are loaded on board.
4. Where the above has been done, the EBOL shall be regarded as having the same effect as a paper BOL.
*Please note that unlike the normal BOL, the EBOL does not contain the Terms and Conditions of carriage.

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