Bill of Lading Retention Requirements
If you are the shipping company or shipping agent, you will keep the original bill of lading properly unloaded in your ship file and take care of the storage of the ship`s file in accordance with your company`s archiving policy. As far as I know, there is no international and customary law that determines how long bills of lading must be kept. We do not believe that the requirement to keep a copy of a daily shipment record under a permanent shipping document increases the registration effort. Nor do we believe that keeping a continuous record of every shipment that takes place under a «permanent shipping document» goes beyond existing legal requirements and regulatory practices. It is our understanding that the daily retention of information of this type Of Printing Page 46126 for inventory and tax purposes is a common business practice and therefore does not constitute an additional registration burden. Federal law states that a shipping document must be kept for each shipment of dangerous goods. Therefore, the obligation to keep a record of each consignment made as part of a permanent transit document is fully in line with the Staff Regulations. The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) seeks clarification on the proposed wording in § 176.24(a). TFI is concerned that «the RSPA has unintentionally limited the scope of exemptions to transit document requirements. Currently, this section applies only to exceptions to the document requirements set out in paragraph 172.200(b).
Paragraph 173.315(m) also contains exceptions to the document requirements under certain conditions. We strongly recommend that the RSPA omit references to specific sections of the CFR and simply refer to exceptions to shipping document requirements in general. We did not intend to eliminate the current exemption from shipping document requirements for hazardous substances shipped pursuant to § 173.315(m) or other exceptions mentioned elsewhere in the HMR. In this final rule, we have changed the wording for clarity. The bill of lading must indicate the method of payment as well as the conditions that the carrier accepts upon delivery. If the carrier collects payment on delivery, the bill of lading must include both the maximum amount charged by the carrier for the delivery of the shipment and the contact details of the recipient with whom the carrier can communicate about the charges. The FMCSA also sets alternative provisions on pick-up and delivery dates for guaranteed and non-guaranteed services. All bills of lading must include the actual date of collection of the goods, a list of the declared value of the shipment and information about insurance coverage. (a) A person may accept dangerous goods for the transport or transport of dangerous goods on board a ship only if he or she has received a transit document issued in accordance with Part 172 of this subchapter, unless the substance is exempt from the requirements of this subchapter relating to transit documents. Note A: The records referred to in this note shall be kept in accordance with the arrangements of the designated inspector for the records.
Companies must comply with the record-keeping requirements of the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, state and local jurisdictions, and other regulatory bodies. Companies must exercise due diligence in choosing retention periods, and the choice of retention periods should reflect past experience, business needs, ongoing litigation, and regulatory requirements. Under the Red Tape Reduction Act, 1995, no one is required to respond to a collection of information unless they display a valid OMB control number. No new fees are proposed under this definitive scheme. The RSPA has an up-to-date licence to collect information under the OMB number. 2137-0034, «Shipping Papers and Emergency Response Information,» which includes the requirement to retain shipping documents in load estimates. (ii) shall be inscribed in a colour that clearly opposes any description on the document of a substance that is not subject to the requirements of this sub-chapter, except that a description on a reproduction of a transit document may be highlighted in a contrasting colour and may not be printed (the provisions of this paragraph apply only to the basic description required by article 172.202 (a) (1)); (2), (3) and (4)) or a clause as below is usually indicated on the bill of lading that covers legality. The Federal Transportation of Dangerous Substances Act, 49 U.S.C. 5101-5127 contains an express pre-emption provision (49 U.S.C. 5125 (b)), which anticipates the needs of state, local, and Native American tribes on specific topics covered. The topics covered are: HOWEVER, each country has legal requirements regarding the retention period of certain documents.
(b) Any person receiving a shipping document required under this Section shall keep a copy or electronic image accessible at or through his or her principal place of business and shall promptly provide the shipping document upon request to an authorized official of a federal, state or local government agency at reasonable times and places. For hazardous waste, each copy of the shipping document must be kept for three years after the material has been accepted by the original carrier. For all other hazardous materials, each copy of the shipping document must be kept for 375 days after the substance has been accepted by the original carrier. Each copy of the shipping document must include the date of acceptance by the original carrier. The date on the shipping document may be the date on which a consignor informs the rail carrier that a shipment is ready for carriage, as indicated on the bill of lading or bill of lading, as an alternative to the date on which the shipment is picked up or accepted by the carrier. The NPRM proposed to require shipping documents to be retained for 375 days (one year plus 10 days) to comply with the legal requirement that shipping documents be retained for one year after the end of the shipment. More than 95% of dangerous goods shipments are delivered to printed page 46125 within 10 days of being offered to a carrier. Most commenters support the proposed 375-day time limit for the storage of shipping documents. However, one commentator, the Institute of Makers of Explosives (IME), said the retention requirement should be «1 year» as required by law. IME states that «*** Delivery cannot be made within 10 days in any case. While most shipments of dangerous goods can be delivered within a total of 10 days (mainly due to the preponderance of deliveries of flammable liquids), the 10-day delivery date will vary greatly by hazard class and carrier type. For the sake of simplicity, the retention requirement should simply be «1 year» as required by law. »We disagree.
The current legal requirement is that shipping documents must be kept for one year after a shipment is «no longer in transit». A regulatory requirement to keep shipping documents for one year is not consistent with the legal requirement. The obligation to keep shipping documents for 375 days takes into account most of the delivery times of the shipment. In this final rule, we adopt the proposed retention period of 375 days. Three elements must be attached to the bill of lading, unless the attachments are made available elsewhere. First, a binding or non-binding estimate of the costs charged by the carrier for the shipment of the goods; secondly, the service order and thirdly, a written and detailed inventory of the goods. The bill of lading is an active record that must remain with the shipment. Until the carrier delivers the shipment to the consignee, the bill of lading must remain in the possession of the driver responsible for the shipment. After delivery, the carrier must keep the bills of lading for at least one year after their creation date. We disagree. For the purpose of developing these rules, a complicated and costly monitoring system of the type proposed by the FIU is not necessary.
Nor do we agree that a second transit document would help to achieve the objectives of this regulation. The current shipping document requirement, as amended as proposed in the NPRM, is sufficient to ensure the implementation of the shipping record retention requirement in federal law. In addition, an additional form would result in an unacceptable increase in the paper burden for the regulated industry. The following calendar indicates the periods during which certain records must be kept. The descriptions given under the various general headings are for practical reference and identification purposes and are intended to apply to the elements mentioned, regardless of how the documents are called in individual companies and regardless of the disk medium. Retention periods represent the prescribed number of years from the date of the document and not calendar years. Records not listed below are kept in accordance with the resolutions of the management of each company. (e) the keeping and retention of records.
Any person providing a shipping document must keep a copy of the shipping document required under section 172.200(a) or an electronic image of it accessible at or through their principal place of business, and must provide the shipping document upon request to an authorized official of a federal, state or local government agency at reasonable times and places. In the case of hazardous waste, the copy of the document must be kept for three years after acceptance of the equipment by the original carrier. For all other hazardous substances, the shipping document must be kept two years after acceptance of the equipment by the original carrier. Each copy of the document shall include the date of acceptance by the original carrier, except that, for shipments of rail, sea or air cargo, the date on the consignment note, air waybill or bill of lading may be used instead of the date of acceptance by the original carrier. A road carrier (within the meaning of subchapter B, chapter III, subchapter B § 390, paragraph 5) who uses a transit document without modification for several consignments of one or more dangerous substances bearing the same shipping name and the same identification number may keep a single copy of the transit document instead of one copy for each consignment made; if the carrier also keeps a record of each consignment made, including the name of the consignment, the identification number, the quantity of transport and the date of dispatch.