Container Number not in Accordance with the Bill of Lading Discrepancy

Container number is a unique reference number assigned to a freight container so that the container can be traced and tracked throughout its journey. The container number is one of the key information on the bill of lading and packing list. If the container number stated on the packing list is not in accordance with the bill of lading, then the issuing bank raises a discrepancy.

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Container number is a unique reference number assigned to a freight container so that the container can be traced and tracked by the government authorities, carriers, shippers and freight forwarders throughout its journey.

Determining the correct container number which belongs to a specific shipment is very important to the custom authorities and other governmental institutions.

As a result a container number will be mentioned on several documents including commercial invoice, consular invoice, bill of lading, packing list, health certificate and other shipping documents.(1)

In a commercial letter of credit transaction the container number indicated on the packing list and bill of lading must not conflict with each other.

The mention of a wrong container number on the packing list, which is inconsistent with the container number indicated on the bill of lading, is a reason for a valid discrepancy and rejection of the presentation.

According to the latest version of letter of credit rules a data in a document must not conflict with, data in that document, any other stipulated document or the credit.

As a result every container number indicated on each document must be identical to one another.

If the issuing bank finds out that the container number indicated on the packing list and bill of lading do not match, then the issuing bank will raise a discrepancy, which is known as packing list and bill of lading show different container number discrepancy.

Discrepancy Example: Container Number on the Packing List is not in Accordance with the Container Number on the Bill Of Lading

A letter of credit has been issued in SWIFT format, subject to UCP latest version, with the following details:

Letter of Credit Conditions

Field 45A: Description of Goods and or Services: 20 mtons of Pure Polyester Powder Coating. Delivery Terms: CIF Port Metro Vancouver, Canada Incoterms 2010.

Field 46A: Documents Required:

  • Signed commercial invoice in triplicate issued by the beneficiary
  • Certificate of origin issued by a local chamber of commerce or any official trade organization confirming that goods are new brand and first hand and originated in China plus 3 copies.
  • Packing list in triplicate indicating quantity and gross weight, net weight, vessel name and container number.
  • Full set clean on board port-to-port marine bill of lading marked freight prepaid issued or endorsed to the issuing bank’s order in 3 originals and 3 non-negotiable copies.

The beneficiary presented a Packing List as shown on the below picture.

Packing List

packing list container number discrepancy

Discrepancy : Packing list states “Container Number: MSCU 120870-8”. On the other hand bill of lading states “Container Number: CMAC 400300-6”. Packing list and bill of lading are indicating different container numbers.

Reason for Discrepancy: The mention of wrong container number on the packing list which is inconsistent with the container number indicated on the bill of lading is a reason for discrepancy and rejection of the presentation.

Sources:

  1. What is a container number? | www.advancedontrade.com
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