Cargo Marketing Team
  Definition of Air Waybill
Home | Cargo Campus | Definition of Air Waybill
Definition of Air Waybill
An Air Waybill (AWB) is the document made out by or on behalf of the shipper that evidences the contract
  between the shipper and carrier(s) for carriage of goods over routes of the carrier(s). An AWB is by far the most essential transport document and was established at the WARSAW Convention in 1929. An AWB legally stipulates liabilities of carrier(s) and limits on compensation, rights and obligations of the shipper, consignee and carrier(s) and is non-negotiable.
Types of Air Waybill and Functions
Types of Air Waybill
  Airline Air Waybill : AWB with preprinted issuing carrier identification
Neutral Air Waybill : AWB without preprinted identification of the carrier
Dummy Air Waybill : For exercise or duplicate copy purposes
Functions of AWB
  Documentary evidence of the conclusion of the Contract of Carriage
Certificate of insurance
Freight bill
Guide to carrier staff in handling, dispatching and delivering the consignment
Functions of AWB
Customs declaration
Distribution of AWB Copies
Original 1 Green Issuing Carrier - For documentaryevidence of theContract of Carriage,for accounting purposes
Original 2 Pink Consignee - To be tendered to the consignee on delivery at the final destination
Original 3 Blue Shipper - For proof of goods receipt and documentary evidence
Original 4 Yellow Transferring Carrier - For receipt of delivery as evidence of the carrier's completion of Contract of Carriage
Original 5 White Airport of Destination - For use at the airport of destination
Original 6
Original 7
Original 8
White 3rd Carrier2nd
- For settlement among participating carriers
Original 9 White Agent - For the agent or carrier executing the AWB
Original 10
Original 11
Original 12
White Copies - As necessary
Issuance of AWB
  In principle, shipper(s) is required to complete the AWB but, in practice, the carrier or agent authorized by the carrier
normally completes the AWB on behalf of the shipper.
  The AWB must conform to shipping documents such as Shipper's Letter of Instruction, L/C and Commercial Invoice.
  In principle, the AWB should be issued after acceptance of the entire consignment.
  The carrier and its cargo agent should check if the AWB contains all required information without omission including
consignee, shipper, place of departure and place of destination.
Air Waybill (AWB) and Bill of Lading (B/L)
Air Waybill (AWB) Bill of Lading (B/L)
Not negotiable Negotiable
AWB shall be issued after the complete consignment has been received B/L shall be issued after the complete consignment has been boarded onto vessel
The shipper is responsible for issuing AWB The vessel company is responsible for issuing B/L
Payable to a specified person Payable to bearer
Completion of the air Waybill

Airport of Departure
  The IATA three-letter code of the airport of departure(or city when the name of the airport is unknown) shall be

Shipper's Name and Address
  The name, address, city and country of the shipper shall be inserted; one or more method of contact(telephone, telex,
  telefax) and the number shall be inserted below.

Shipper's Account Number
  This box is reserved for the issuing carrier and does not need to be completed by the agent.

Consignee's Name and Address
  The name, address, city and country of the consignee must be inserted. Insert the consignee's telephone number, as
  well, if known.
When shipments , for any reason, must be addressed to a bank or to an agent, a Notify Party must be inserted in box 21(Handling Information). Even though the notify party is considered as the actual consignee of the shipment(s), the delivering station shall not deal with the notify party directly but should await instructions from the consignee shown in box 4 of the AWB. If the shipper insists that a person or the firm other than the consignee, must also be notified, the address of the person or the firm shall be inserted in box 21 as well, preceded by the words 'also notify'.
 In such case, the delivering carrier shall give notice to the party, but shall deliver the AWB according to the instruction from the consignee, not from the notify party.

 Because the AWB is not a negotiable document, shipments shall not be addressed ' To order' or ' To order of the shipper'.

 In case a shipment must be addressed to the care of the final or the delivering carrier, or to a hotel or a similar transit address to await pick-up by the consignee, the consignee's or his relative's Home address should be shown in box 21 proceeded by the words: ' In case of inability to deliver to consignee, contact.'

Consignee's Account Number.
  A code assigned by the airlines to identify the customer. This entry is reserved for the delivering carrier at its option.

Issuing Carrier's Agent, Name And City
  The name and city of the carrier's agent entitled to the commission shall be inserted. When commission is payable to an
  IATA cargo agent in the country of destination, the name and location of such IATA cargo agent shall be inserted, proceeded by the words ' Commissionable Agent.'

Agent's IATA Code
  The IATA code of the agent indicated in paragraph 6 above must be inserted.

Issuing Carrier's Agent, Account Number
  This box is reserved for the issuing carrier and shall be used by the agent only as instructed by the issuing carrier.

Airport of Departure ( Address of First Carrier), Requested Routing.
  The airport of departure (which is the address of the first carrier) and any requested routing shall be inserted;
  3-letter city codes may be used.

Accounting Information
  Any special accounting information shall be inserted, for example:
  Method of payment, e.g. by cash or cheque or MCO(miscellaneous changes order).
- Note : A MCO is acceptable only when baggage is shipped as cargo. The MCO number and value of the exchange coupon in the currency of the Air Waybill shall also be shown in this box. Government Bills of Lading Numbers.

- Consignment returned because of non-delivery : The original AWB number shall be shown for the returning carriage.

Routing and Destination: from 11a to 11f
  Except for indication of the name of the first carrier, the use of these boxes is optional. When used, the IATA three letter
  location identifier must be inserted as necessary in order of movement beneath the 'to' headings, and the airline two-letter prefixes, beneath the 'by' headings.
  Where a city is served by more than one airport, the IATA three-letter code of the airport of arrival may be inserted.

  a) The ISO three-letter currency code of the currency applicable in the country of departure for  completion of the Air
  Waybill according to the applicable rating rules as indicated in TACT Rules  Book section 5 shall be inserted.

b) All amounts entered on the Air Waybill, other than those entered in the boxes 'Collect Charges
 in Destination Currency' shall be in the currency as specified in above paragraph a).

Charges Code
  To be used by carrier's accounting offices only. For details, TACT Rules section 6.2 shall be referred to.

Weight/Valuation Charge - Prepaid/Collect
  The shipper/agent, who does not show details of charges in the appropriate boxes of the Air Waybill, must indicate by
  insertion of an 'x' in the applicable box, whether weight and valuation charges are wholly prepaid or wholly collect. Both of these charges must be either wholly prepaid or wholly collect, unless otherwise specifically indicated.

Other Charges at Origin - Prepaid/Collect
  The shipper/agent, who does not show these charges either in the 'Total Other Prepaid Charges' box described in
  paragraph 26a, 26b or the 'Total Other Collect Charges' box described in paragraph 26a and 26b of the Air Waybill, must indicate by insertion of an 'x' in the applicable box, whether all other charges at origin are wholly prepaid or wholly collect.
If the information contained in the boxes described in paragraph 15 above is in conflict with the information in the boxes 'Total Prepaid' described in paragraph 27 and/or 'Total Collect' described in paragraph 28, the latter shall take precedence.

Declared Value For Carriage
  The declared value for carriage as specified by the shipper shall be inserted. The declared value limits the carrier's
  liability in case of loss, or damage to cargo, and the valuation charges will be assessed based on the amount of the declared value. If the shipper wants to insert 'No Value Declared' , the column shall be filled with the abbreviation of 'NVD'. The words 'No Value', 'Max Free' or 'M/F' shall not be accepted as value declaration.

Declared Value For Customs
  When the box is unshaded and the shipper declares a value for customs purposes, such value may be inserted. If the
  shipper does not want to declare the value for customs, insert 'NVD'(No Value Declared) or leave the box blank.

Airport of Destination
  The name of the town or airport of destination of the last carrier shall be inserted in full writing. To avoid any possible
  confusion between two locations bearing the same name, the district or country where it is situated must be added, e.g. Birmingham, Uk; Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

  This box is reserved for the participating carriers. Reservations requested by the shipper shall not be inserted.
  This does not constitute a firm booking.

Amount of Insurance
  Enter the insured amount in case Shipper's Interest Insurance (S.I.I.) is desired by the shipper. The amount for which
  the goods are to be insured may not be the same as the declared for carriage.
 Also this insurance covers the loss or damage even in case the value for carriage is declared as NVD on the AWB. The insured amount shall not be more than the actual value of the property at destination or the value stated in the commercial invoice CIF value plus 30% and the recovery by the S.I.I. will also be limited to the amount.
  The insurance premium due shall be inserted in box 28 'Due Carrier' either in prepaid or in collect. In case the currency of the insured amount is different from the currency of the commercial invoice, the original currency amount to be insured shall be shown in the Handling Information column of 21).

Handling Information
  (Including Marks, Numbers And Method Of Packing Etc.)
  This box may be used to indicate any information related to the handling of the consignment for which a special area does not appear elsewhere on the Air Waybill. Where there is not a sufficient space, an extension list may be used. Some types of information which may be put here when required for special handling by governments, shippers, or carriers are the following:

- Identifying marks and numbers which appear on the consignment and method of packing.

- The name and address of any person to be notified of arrival of the consignment in addition to  the consignee.

- Documents to accompany the Air Waybill (using cargo IMP codes where appropriate).

- When there is no special box 'Declared Value For Customs' in the area of the Air Waybill  described under paragraph 17 'The Shipper's Declared Value For Customs', as stated by the  shipper, shall be inserted where this is required by the country of destination.

- The original currency amount of the insured value in case it is different from the amount of  insurance box (20).

- Net weight of shipment where required.

- Indication of where delivery service is requested.

- Any other special handling information or instructions relating to the shipment-using cargo-IMP  codes where appropriate except that the following instructions shall not be accepted on the Air Waybill or otherwise:
 (i) To execute a document intended to effect transfer of title to the shipment.
 (ii) To obtain proof of payment, acceptance of a draft, etc. before delivery.

- When a consignment is returned because of non-delivery, the new Air Waybill for the returning
 carriage shall have the original Air Waybill number inserted in this box.

Number of Packages
  The number of packages shall be inserted. Where there is more than one entry, the total number of packages shall be
  inserted below the 'Total' line. RCP ( Rate Combination Point ) Where it is necessary to designate the point over which rates are combined, Such point must be indicated by inserting the IATA three-letter city code of such point as a separate entry

The actual gross weight of the packages
  shall be inserted on the same horizontal line as the respective number of pieces. When an IATA registered unit load
  device is used, its actual tare weight shall be inserted as an additional line entry. Where there is more than one entry, the total gross weight shall be inserted at the bottom line.

  The unit of measurement / weight used for kilograms or pounds (K or L) shall be inserted.

Rate Class
  One or more of the following codes shall be inserted as appropriate:
  M - Minimum Charge
N - Normal under 45kg (100 lb) rate or under 100kg rate where no under 45kg rate exists.
Q - Quantity over 45kg ( or 100 lb) rate
C - Specific Commodity Rate
R - Class Rate (Reduction)
S - Class Rate (Surcharge)
U - Pivot Weight And Applicable Pivot Weight Charge
E - Weight in excess of pivot weight and applicable rate
X - Unit Load Device (as an additional line entry with one of the above)
Y - Unit Load Device Discount

Commodity Item Number
  a. If the code 'C' has been inserted in box (22D), the IATA specific commodity item number shall  be inserted.
  b. Where a surcharge or a discount applies in connection with a Class rate, the applicable  percentage of the normal under 45 kgs/100 lbs rate shall be shown here; i.e.,. 150% of N-rate  shall be shown as 150%, 66% of N-rate shall be shown as 66%. (a Class rate requiring the normal  rate without any quantity reduction shall be shown as S-100%.)

c. When a ULD is used, the applicable IATA rate classification code must be inserted on the same  line as the code 'x' in box (22D).

Chargeable Weight

  The gross weight per rate class or the volume weight shall be inserted ; however,where a higher weight breakpoint in
  connection with a lower rate results in a lower total charge, such higher breakpoint may be used for calculation and, in such case, shall be shown.

 where a minimum charge (M) applies, no insertion need to be made.

 when an IATA registered unit load device is used, the applicable chargeable weight(s) and tare weight allowance shall be entered on the same line as their related codes provided for under box (22D).

  The applicable rate per kg or per lb shall be inserted;
  - where a minimum charge applies, this amount shall be entered;
- the pivot charge (bulk unitization program) shall be shown preceded by the code 'U'.
- any container discount(s) must be inserted here, preceded by a '-' sign and on the same line  as 'X'.
- the over pivot rate per kg or per lb must be inserted here (on the same line as the 'E' in the 'Rate Class' column).

Total (if available)
  The total charge for each separate line entry shall be inserted. Where there is more than one entry, the total amount
  shall be inserted below the total line.

Nature and Quantity of Goods
  (incl. Dimensions or Volume)
  a. Nature and Quantity Describe goods in as much details as possible. They must immediately
  be identifiable, particularly for customs and rating purpose. Broad general terms such as
 'Samples', 'Sample of no value', 'Textiles', 'Machinery Parts', etc. must be avoided. Instead  'Samples of Aluminium Foil', 'Cotton piece goods', 'Parts of agricultural machinery', etc. should  be used. Special attention must be drawn to shipments containing DANGEROUS GOODS, where  the rules given in the applicable Dangerous Goods Regulations must strictly be followed.

 If a consignment is acceptable only on cargo aircraft, the words 'CARGO AIRCRAFT ONLY' shall be inserted.

b. Dimensions and Volume
 For each package in the shipment or for the entire shipment, insert three dimensions in the following sequence : greatest length, greatest width, greatest height (or volume) for the following types of shipments: voluminous shipments may also show the volume weight, having an actual value of USD 1,000.00, or equivalent per gross kg. or more, containing one or more of the articles which falls under the valuable cargo defined in IATA Resolution 594 and jewelry consisting of any of these articles.

c. IATA Registered Unit Load Devices If one or more IATA registered unit load devices are used in
  the shipment, the appropriate IATA registration code shall be shown on the same horizontal line
 as the 'x' in the 'rate class' box (22D).

d. Extension List If details can not fully be shown in this box, an extension list shall be used and  be prepared with the same number of copies as the AWB to which they shall be attached. In this  box of the AWB the word 'SEE EXTENSION LIST' shall be inserted and at least the total number  of pieces, the total weight of the consignment and the total volume of the items shall be shown on
  the AWB itself. The AWB number shall be shown on each copy of the extension list.

Other Charges
a. Descriptions and amount of individual charges and fees other than weight and valuation charge must be inserted.
When the AWB is electronically transmitted, the following codes shall be used;
AC Animal Container LA Live Animals
AS Assembly service fee MA Miscellaneous-Due agent ( Note 1.)
AT Attendant MB Miscellaneous-unassigned ( Note 2.)
AW Air Waybill Fee MC Miscellaneous-Due carrier( Note 3.)
BL Blacklist Certificate MD to MN Miscellaneous-Due last carrier
BR Bank release MO to MZ Miscellaneous-Due issuing carrier
CD Clearance and handling-destination PK Packing
CH Clearance and handling-origin PU Pick-up
DB Disbursement Fee RA Dangerous goods fee
DF Disbursement Service Fee RC Referral of charge
FC Charges collect fee RF Remit following collection fee
GT Government Tax SD Surface charge- destination
HR Human Remains SI Stop in transit
IN Insurance premium SO Storage-origin
SP Separate early release SU Surface charges
SR Storage-destination TR Transit
SS Signature service TX Taxes
ST State sales tax UH ULD handling
1. MA code is used if the miscellaneous charge is due agent but cannot be further identified.
  2. MB code is used if the miscellaneous charge cannot be determined as being due agent or due carrier.
3. MC code is used if the miscellaneous charge is due carrier but cannot be further identified.
b. To indicate whether such other charges accrue to carrier or agent, one of the following  entitlement codes : A (due Agent) or C (due Carrier) shall be used following the above codes and  preceding the amounts.

c. The sum of the various other charges shown in box 23) shall be entered in boxes 27A, 27B, 28A  or 28B.

d. When a consignment is returned because of non-delivery, the new AWB for the returning  carriage shall have all charges, which should have been but were not collected from the original  consignee, inserted in this box.

Weight Charge (Prepaid/Collect)
  The weight/volume charge for air carriage shall be inserted; both the weight/volume charge and the valuation charge
  shall be inserted on the Air Waybill as either wholly prepaid or wholly collect.

Valuation Charge (Prepaid/Collect)
  The valuation charge shall be inserted; both the weight/volume charge and the valuation charge shall be inserted on
  the Air Waybill as either wholly prepaid or wholly collect.

Total Other Charges Due Agent(Prepaid/Collect)
  When the charge for preparation of the Air Waybill is due agent, it must be inserted. Collect charges 'due agent' which
  are shown in box (23) must be shown here.

The Total Other Charges Due Carrier(Prepaid and Collect)
  The total of charges and fees due to carrier(other than weight charge and valuation charges) specified for box(25)
  must be inserted..

Total Prepaid
  The total of all prepaid charges, i.e. weight/volume charge, valuation charge and other prepaid charge due carrier and
  due agent must be inserted

Total Collect
  The total of all collect charges, i.e. weight/volume charge, valuation charge and other collect charges due carrier and due
  agent must be inserted.

Shipper's Certificate Box
  The signature of the shipper or his agent(printed, signed or stamped), must be inserted.

Carrier's Execution Box
  The date and place of execution of the Air Waybill must be inserted. The month must be shown in full or abbreviated,
  and not by numbers. The signature of the carrier or its agent can be printed, signed or stamped.