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Definition and classification of bills of lading
2.1 Like an elephant, a bill of lading is generally easier to recognise than to define. This chapter considers aspects of the definition of a bill of lading, and the related topic of classification into different “species” of bill. The subject is of more than academic interest, as a document may be a bill of lading for one purpose but not another, and whether a document is or is not a bill of lading may have important consequences. Furthermore, the correct classification of a document may be relevant to whether it is valid or acceptable for the purposes of the underlying sale contract or its financing through a letter of credit.
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