Meaning of Notify Party

Notify Party is a person to whom the carrier will give cargo arrival notice at the destination port.

What is Notify Party?

Like ‘Consignee’, a ‘Notify Party’ is also a shipping terminology which is used under the contract of carriage. A ‘Notify Party’ is a person to whom the shipping line shall give the ‘notice of arrival’ (NOA) upon arrival of the cargo at destination port of B/L.

Notify Party in bills of lading:

A notify party is mentioned under a separate head marked as ‘Notify Party’ in B/L. As a customary practice of shipping industry and international trade, a notify party cannot receive delivery of the cargo unless ‘ordered to’ by either the shipper or the consignee.

Notify Party could be either,

(a)   a buyer of the cargo, or
(b)   buyer’s agent (mostly clearing and forwarding agent), or
(c)   any other interested person (example, trade agent or prospective buyer other than consignee)

A notify party is advised to keep itself aware of the cargo arrival schedule in order to avoid paying additional charges for delay in clearance at the destination port.  

Endorsement and NOC from Notify Party:

Since a ‘notify party’ does not carry the same importance as the ‘consignee’ does, there is no endorsement or NOC required from it. However, some shipping lines insist to receive the notify party’s NOC to dispose-off the cargo; more particularly when there exists a ‘to order’ B/L and no consignee is identifiable from the face of the B/L. The shipper can contest such demand for NOC, if required; however, it is best to be avoided considering the amount of time it may eat-up.  

How many Notify parties can be mentioned in B/L?

Unlike for consignee, there are no limitations as to the number of notify parties being mentioned on a B/L. I have personally seen the bills of lading with as many as four (04) notify parties.

Such circumstances normally occur when the consignee asks the shipper to add such multiple parties in the apprehension of prospective sale to either of them while the cargo is still under the transit.

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