The Belgian Freight
Forwarding Association

Shipping permit

What is a shipping permit (permis d'embarquement)?

The shipping permit is only used for conventional shipments. The English name (and French name - permis d’embarquement - which is still frequently used in Antwerp), actually better express the content of this document than their Dutch counterpart ‘laadbrief’ (meaning loading letter). The shipping permit is sent together with the bills of lading, the mate's receipt, the bespoke letter and the quay service document drawn up by the forwarding agent by means of transfer, and offered to the shipping company or its agent. The latter stamps the bill of lading and hereby authorises the loading of the goods on board the seagoing vessel. The shipping permit is handed over to the main marker on the quay before or at the time of delivery of the merchandise.

The shipping permit states the name of the shipping company or agent, the name of the ship, the destination, marks and numbers of the merchandise, number of packages, nature and description of the goods, their weight, method of delivery, the shipper, the forwarder delivering the merchandise, the place where the freight is to be paid and the number of original bills of lading.

Use of the shipping permit in the Port of Antwerp

The shipping permit from the Port of Antwerp is in force in Antwerp. This states that the shipping permit should be stamped at the agents' offices upon delivery by the forwarder of the complete set of bills of lading. The forwarder goes to the principal marker with the signed copy and shows him the merchandise to be loaded, which must be clearly and visibly marked, in addition to the indication of the destination port. A copy of the shipping permit, the yellow mate's receipt, (certified true copies in the set of forms) remains with the ship's agent. The marker then checks the nature and number of the goods and, if necessary, enters any remarks in the shipping permit. Finally, the shipping permit is handed over to the captain and remains on the ship. The blue quay document from the set of forms is given to the customs authorities, with which the goods are checked. The green mate’s letter from the set is used by the marker to determine the volume. After completion, it is returned to the ship's agent, who uses it to calculate the freight.

Purchase shipping permit?

The shipping permits can be collected or ordered from the FORWARD Belgium secretariat, Brouwersvliet 33 - 2000 Antwerp.

For additional information about the shipping permit, please contact the FORWARD Belgium secretariat.

You can order the shipping permit from the FORWARD Belgium Secretariat using the online order form:

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