Belgian Freight Forwarding Association


  • FBL  - FIATA Bill of Lading


The FBL-document was drafted in 1975. In comparison to other documents where the general carrier conditions are printed on the reverse side of the document, the FBL document differs in that it has worldwide uniform conditions: the "Standard Trading Conditions Governing FIATA Combined Transport Bills of Lading".
On the 4th of August 1993 FIATA was confirmed by the ICC that the Negotiable FIATA Multimodal Transport Bill of Lading is entirely compatible with the UNCTAD / ICC-rules for Multimodal Transport Documents; as proof of this, the new FIATA B/L is allowed to carry the ICC-label.
On the 1st of July 2007 the new ICC-rules regarding the documentation credit (ucp 600) also came into force.
Art. 19, 20, 23 and 24 determine the conditions under which transport documents issued by carriers are accepted by banks.
De facto, the issuing commission agent to FIATA B/L acts as a carrier and from start to finish carries the responsibility for the transport. He guarantees not only the flawless arrival of the goods at the target location, but also guarantees for the conduct of carriers and third parties, which he chooses to employ inorder to conduct the transport.
If the time point can be proved at which the loss of/ or damage to the transported goods occurred during the transport, his liability takes on the form which is valid for the respective transport manner.
He can thus draw back on the same reasons for an exemption from liability as the actual carrier.
If this proof cannot be brought about, the signing party of the documents takes upon him the liability, which is limited to 666,67 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) per transported good or 2 SDR per KG of gross weight of the lost or damaged goods (the highest of the both is taken as the maximum amount).


The FIATA B/L must also not be regarded as a carriers document, but instead is definitely a transport document, issued by an operater who takes a "carrier's liability" upon himself.
Even if the name of the document mainly implies a multimodal transport, it can still be used in cases of transport which were conducted with the aid of only one transport means.
The FIATA B/L is principally transferrable (except if the non-transferrableness is explicitly stated).


The copyrights for these documents are owned by FIATA. Any sort of reproduction through individual enterprises is forbidden.


  1. A FIATA B/L can be sold by CEB only and exclusively to companies, which are connected to a carrier’s business, which is a member of CEB (ADESO, BAFI, BELOTRA, BELTOP, VEA, VEREXZ).
  2. CEB must ascertain this, as well as the fact that only these member companies issue the document; for this a copy must be sent.
  3. CEB must verify if the issuer of the document is insured for his function and responsibility as a carrier, which he has taken on through the publication of the FIATA M.T. B/L (the document has been recognized by the ICC as “carriertype document” within the framework of the document credit).


To make the verification process of the issued documents easier, these companies have a special directory in which the names and addresses of the connected companies to which these documents have been made available to, as well as the document numbers, are recorded.
The FIATA-documents have a very good reputation and are recognized as trustworthy documents with sustainable tradition. They contribute to simplifying the international goods traffic and world trade.
The liability insurance is covered by FIATA.
          In Belgium there exist two possibilities for obtaining the compulsory insurance:
          1. Over Pool Arex 21 or
          2. Over an individually obtained insurance
All users of the FBL must send us:
  • the insurance certificate signed by the insurance company or
  • the deal closed over AREX-21 with the broker
Vanbreda Risk & Benefits, Plantin en Moretuslei, 297, B-2140 Antwerp,
Hr. R. Peeters, Tel. 03/2175788, E-Mail: rene peeters vanbreda be and notify us of this.
If this does is not done, no documents will be issued.
The new FBL shall consist of 3 Originals and 1 white copy; these must still be sent to us, so that we can conduct the necessary verification of the identity of the issuer.
The Sales price per unwritten set of documents FIATA M.T. B/L amounts to 5,-- Euro.

(*) to be sent back complete and signed


  • FCR  - FIATA FCR (Forwarder Certificate of Receipt)
The Forwarders Certificate of Receipt was introduced by FIATA for the use by international freight forwarders within the Organization of FIATA. The FIATA FCR document enables the freight forwarder to provide the consignor with a special document as an official acknowledgement that he has assumed responsibility of the goods.
The FIATA FCR can be handed to the consignor immediately after the consignment has been received by the freight forwarder.
By completing the FIATA FCR the freight forwarder certifies that he is in possession of a specific consignment with irrevocable instructions for despatch to the consignee shown in the document or to keep it at his disposal.
These instructions may only be cancelled if the original FIATA FCR document is handed over to the issuing freight forwarder and only if he is in a position to comply with such cancellation or alteration.
The FIATA FCR will primarily be used when the supplier sells the goods ex works and needs to prove that he has complied with his obligations to the buyer by presenting a FIATA FCR.
In the case of a Letter of Credit the seller will under such conditions be able to present a FIATA FCR issued by a forwarder in order to obtain payment of the sales price placed at his disposal by the buyer under the terms of the Letter of Credit. The seller can no longer dispose of goods handed over to the forwarder once the FIATA FCR document has been handed over to the buyer.
The FIATA FCR is not negotiable. As the delivery of the consignment to the consignee does not depend on the handling over of this document, only one original is issued. Should further copies be required, forms specially overprinted with the words “Copy not negotiable” should be used.
When issuing a FIATA FCR, the freight forwarder should ensure:
  1. that he or his agent (branch, intermediate freight forwarder) has taken over the consignment specified therein and that the right of disposal of the goods is vested solely in him;
  2. that the goods appear to be in apparent good order and condition;
  3. that details on the document clearly correspond with the instructions he has received;
  4. that the conditions of freight documents (B/L etc.) are not contrary to the obligations he has assumed according to the FIATA FCR document.


The FIATA FCR bears the general national freight forwarding conditions of the issuing country on the reverse. The document may only be used by freight forwarders who adhere to these general conditions in their forwarding activities.
It is recommended that the freight forwarder covers his liability by insurance in accordance with the FIATA FCR requirements.


(*) to be sent back complete and signed

  • SDT - Shippers Declaration for Transport of Dangerous Goods
If the carrier is assigned with the transport of dangerous goods, he requires exact information of their exact names and classification in accordance with the ADR for street transport, the RID in the case of transport by rail and the IMDG/IMCO-Code in the case of transport by sea. The partitioning of this classification can be found on the reverse side of the SDT-document.
It is a document which the carrier must hand over to the contracting party, the sender. The latter must hand this document back to him in appropriate form, meaning completed and signed, if the carrier is handed over the responsibility for the transport of dangerous goods.
Only companies connected to the FIATA are entitled to issue this form, for which FIATA owns the copyright.
The SDT- documents may only be issued to national companies connected to members of FIATA.
As the documents concerned are documents which are made available to customers in unwritten form for the purpose of simplifying their instructions, there is no reason to verify their application, nor record the sale of such documents in a directory.
The sender, along with this certificate concerning the dangerous nature of the shipment, must also supply instructions for the measures to be taken in case of an accident.
The form also reminds the contracting party that additional information must be given about:
  1. dangerous goods in limited amounts;
  2. radioactive materials.
In certain cases a “Bad Weather-certificate” or a “Packaging-certificate” for Container/semi-trailers is also necesary. In most cases these are issued on the basis of the SDT.
In the case that several dangerous goods are packaged in a common package, or placed in a common container, the contracting party must explicitly state that this is allowed.