The Airway bill issue

Airway bill is issued by air carrier of goods on receipt of goods after completion of export customs formalities of the country. Shipper obtains airway bill once after handing over cargo to them. Since the cargo reaches by air and transit time is too less compared to sea shipment, a set of airway bill is sent along with the cargo for immediate reference on transit and for import customs clearance at destination port by importer.

Once after completion of customs formalities at load port customs location, cargo transfer manifest (CTM) issued by IATA agent along with airway bill and other required documents for transport submits to air carriers. Original airway bills are issued in quintuplicate which is meant for carrier, importer, shipper and additional copies. Once after arrival of cargo at destination, the importer or his cargo agent approaches the destination office of air carrier and collect airway bill and other required documents sent by shipper along with cargo for necessary documentation for import customs clearance procedures and other references. Importer may also collect copies of documents by courier or mail from shipper before arrival of goods. The shipper also can arrange to send airway bill and other documents through his bank to meet LC requirements or he desires. The major difference between bill of lading and Airway bill is that, Airway bill is not a document of title. However, airway bill can be prepared in such a way to treat as document of title and negotiable document.

When a shipper books cargo with a freight forwarder by air, he issues a document of receipt of goods from shipper which is called House airway Bill (HAWB).

In turn, the freight forwarder books same cargo with main airline carrier and he obtains Master airway bill (MAWB or MBL) under the said shipment.

So HAWB act as contracts of carriage between the shipper and the forwarder, who in this case becomes a Deemed Carrier, and the contract of carriage between the forwarder and carrier is called a Master Air Waybill. A House Air Waybill or Bill of Lading could act as a multimodal transport document.