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What is Consignee in Shipping Terms?

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Consignee in shipping terms is simply the importer (aka the buyer) of this shipment. It is extremely important to have the correct consignee information in the Bill of Lading and here’s why:

1) First time importers much be registered to import with Customs. Even if the correct company is listed as the consignee, if you’re not registered as an importer, you will not be able to import. To register, simply contact your Customs Brokerage or your Freight Forwarder, they will know what to do.

2) If your company has an Annual Customs Bond, the name of the company must match with the purchased Bond and the Consignee on the B/L.

{For Example}

If you have 2 companies (one for importing & one for retail), let’s call them ABC INC. and DEF INC., you will want to purchase the Bond under ABC INC. and make sure that all Import Documents are under ABC INC. The thing is, if you or your supplier accidentally consign the shipment to DEF INC. you will not be able to use that Annual Bond you purchased under ABC INC.

3) Consignee on the B/L is the main contact for this particular shipment. Every single communication will go through the person/company listed as the consignee, so if you don’t want the final recipient party to know the details, you should consider avoiding putting their information on the B/L.

{For Example}

If you’re an agent between the seller and the buyer and you do not wish the buyer to know the shipment details, you will want to avoid putting the final buyer as the consignee. You will be better off putting yourself (the agent company) as the consignee and handle all the communication for the final buyer. That way you don’t risk releasing important information and you can be much more helpful to your customer (the buyer).


Disclaimer: Please note that all information provided in this post is for reference purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with a qualified professional for specific inquiries or concerns. This website is not comprehensive and does not encompass all the necessary aspects of import procedures. 

If you require Customs Brokerage assistance, contact our main company, Elleo Global today!



a subdivision of Elleo Global, Inc.

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