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Home > Trucking > Shipping Document / Bill of Lading

Before transporting goods for consideration, operators of heavy vehicles must complete several documents specifying the transportation movements that they make. Two regulations with different objectives regulate the requirements for such documents.

Regulation Respecting the Requirements for Bills of Lading

The Civil Code of Québec defines a bill of lading as a “writing which evidences a contract for the carriage of property”. The purpose of the Regulation Respecting the Requirements for Bills of Lading is to set out the minimum requirements applicable to contracts for the transport of goods for consideration.

The Regulation provides, in Schedule 1, a model bill lading and, in Schedule 2, the minimum specifications that must be included in bills of lading. For example, one of the specifications includes a maximum liability in case of loss or damage to goods carried if no other value, whether higher or lower, is indicated. The maximum value is $4.41/kg.

The following table summarizes the regulation:

BILL OF LADING

MINIMUM REQUIRED CONTENT WHO IS CONCERNED? WHERE AND HOW LONG SHOULD THE RECORDS BE KEPT?
  • All the items in Schedules 1 and 2 are the minimum specifications that must be entered in the bill of lading.
  • Each bill of lading must be identified by a specific number code.
  • Any operator of a heavy vehicle or his mandatory, who undertakes to transport goods for a shipper, for consideration.
  • Several exemptions are specified in section 2 of the Regulation.
  • An operator of heavy vehicles shall keep a copy of the bills of lading and short forms of the bill of lading respecting the shipping contracts to which he was a party for 2 years.

Note: a waybill or any other document used to follow up on goods carried may not replace the bill of lading.

Note that a short form of the bill of lading may be used by a shipper under certain conditions specified in section 10 of the Regulation.

Regulation Respecting the Requirements Applicable to Shipping Documents and Contracts for Services

The main purpose of the shipping documents required under the Regulation Respecting the Requirements Applicable to Shipping Documents and Contracts for Services  is to help identify the operator providing the transportation. Operators providing transportation of goods for consideration are required to enter information on the shipping document.

In the absence of a clear document meeting the requirements of the Regulation, the operator of the heavy vehicle is liable to a fine of $125 to $375. In addition, if the person controlling the operation of the heavy vehicle cannot be identified, the owner of the vehicle will be considered to be exercising this control. It is therefore important, to avoid problems, to make sure that the information on the document is accurate.

The following table summarizes the regulation:

SHIPPING DOCUMENT

MINIMUM REQUIRED CONTENT WHO IS CONCERNED? WHERE AND HOW LONG SHOULD THE RECORDS BE KEPT?
  • Description of goods. If there are several types of goods, indicate the quantity for each.
  • A reference number.
  • Date on which the goods were entrusted, the place where this was done and the destination.
  • Name of shipper and of receiver (or consignee).
  • Name and NIR (identification number in the Registre des propriétaires et des exploitants de véhicules lourds from the Commission des transports du Québec) of the operator who provides the transportation.
  • Name, in block letters, of the person who entered the operator’s name and NIR.
  • Name and identification number of the transport service intermediary, if applicable.
  • The mention, where applicable, that transportation is successive and provided by several operators.
  • Any operator of a heavy vehicle providing transportation of goods for remuneration, from their loading to their delivery.
  • Exemptions are as follows: bulk transportation of sand, earth, gravel, stone, snow or ice and transportation of goods by bus or transportation of waste for a municipality.
  • An operator of heavy vehicles must keep a copy of the shipping documents for 2 years.
  • During transportation of goods, the shipping document must be kept in the heavy vehicle used.

Note: The information required for a shipping documents may be kept in electronic form insofar as it may be reproduced in paper form, upon request of a peace officer or an inspector, during a road check operation.

The Info camionnage information bulletin of December 7, 2007 (in French only), provides details as to the persons governed by the Regulation and gives practical examples.

Shipping documents can be composed of several documents such as a bill of lading, a bill, a waybill, etc. When this is the case, all the documents must bear a common reference number and provide all the information required under the Regulation.

Transportation of dangerous substances

Specific requirements apply for documents relating to the transportation of dangerous substances. For more information on this matter, you can refer to the Dangerous Substances section on the Ministère's website.

Documentation

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