What is a Boat Note and where it is used?

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boat note
boat note
A Boat Note

This article explains what is boat note and where it is used. In some ports of the world, all the ships that arrive from high seas cannot berth alongside due to certain restrictions (such as draft restrictions etc) or the port itself can be an anchorage port (i.e it does not have any berth/jetty/pier). Another case could be that the vessel on arrival to a port doesn’t get any berth and is required to work cargo at anchorage. In all situations, the Cargo is mostly worked using boats (barges to be specific)

Above document is from Navlakhi Anchorage port in Gujarat. 

Frankly speaking, I have seen these being signed in Indian Ports only. I have not come across this document anywhere else in the world. 

The Indian Custom Act states that no goods (that are imported) be water borne from a vessel, unless a Boat Note is issued for the same. This is applicable in case when a Vessel is discharging cargo to barges (i.e. import of cargo to mainland is happening). 

In case of export of cargo, which means loading of a vessel through barges, something called as a Shipping Bill is required. 

Key features of a Boat Note are – 

  1. Issued by the Barge into which cargo is being discharged by own vessel. It has to counter signed either Ship’s Chief Officer or Ship’s Agent on his behalf. 
  2. More than one Boat Note can be issued by the same barge (depending upon how many time she gets along side for carrying out loading operations). The serial number of the Boat Note is mentioned over it. 
  3. It is a sort of proof given to the custom authorities that the said barge has been loaded by the cargo from the own vessel. 
  4. If a barge is engaged in loading operation with own vessel, then Shipping Bill is required to be issued. 
  5. If Shipping Bill is absent, then Boat Note is required to presented.

Do share your thoughts & suggestions in the comment section below.

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  1. sanjit says:

    very good explanation

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