Letter of Indemnity - When do I need one?

Letter of Indemnity - When do I need one?

Whitney - September 27, 2017

Sometimes we may come across whilst shipping internationally, despite providing international

customs paperwork

for the shipment we are also asked to provide for a letter of indemnity. What is it? What is it used for? And why might a carrier require one for your shipment?

 

And just in case you were wondering what indemnity meant, it’s simply security or protection from a financial loss. In the case of shipping, that financial loss comes from claims against lost or damaged parcels in unavoidable circumstances.

What is an indemnity letter?

Put simply, a document in which the shipper indemnifies the carrier against claims that may stem from beyond the carriers control. This is common when shipping by boat, or when the carrier of the goods are taking a non-contractual risk.

When shipping by sea, letters of indemnity are sometimes used instead of a Bill of Lading. This is the case when there is not time to obtain a bill of lading, or if the goods require a change of ship to reach their destination.

Fundamentally, an indemnity letter is the shipper of a package waiving their right to claim for loss or damage to a parcel when delivery is being made to a location that may be unsettled or dangerous.

In many cases, this is the only way a parcel can be delivered, as many carriers will not deliver to locations which may require further risk.

When does Courierpoint require a letter of indemnity?

Courierpoint requires an indemnity letter when a shipment is sent to countries that currently lack stability.

 

Currently, if a customer ships to Iran, Syria, North Korea, Sudan and Cuba they must include an indemnity letter when making their bookings.

 

What happens if I cannot provide an indemnity letter?

If you cannot provide form an indemnity letter then the shipment will not be delivered. It will be returned to the sender at their own cost. To ensure this does not happen, be prepared to provide a letter of indemnity when shipping to areas of unrest.

 

If you are not sure you need a letter of indemnity, talk to our customer service team, who will be able to confirm whether it is required. Do bear in mind that an indemnity letter is a legally binding document, and may require some time to obtain.

 

Related information:

 

How to send a parcel

 

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