Switched bills of lading. A country may not have diplomatic relations with another country but traders in one or the other may wish to have goods transported between these countries.
An example would be Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China. Goods may be loaded on board a vessel in a Chinese port, the bill of lading correctly showing the name of the loading port, then another bill of lading may be issued showing, for example, Hong Kong as the loading port, and a Taiwanese port as the discharging port. The vessel may never call at Hong Kong. This may be acceptable to businessmen but is a misrepresentation as to the actual name of the place of loading or shipment and could be fraudulent. Another example was experienced in 1989 where a vessel was on time charter to a Japanese firm. The vessel loaded fertilizer at Shuaiba, in Kuwait and was bound for a North Chinese port. There would have been problems for the vessel, its master and charterers if documents on board the vessel showed that the cargo had been loaded at Kuwait. Kuwaiti cargo was not permitted into the PRC. The time charterers attempted to pressure the ship-owners to accept bills of lading showing Singapore as the port of loading. The vessel had called into Singapore on her passage to the Far East but only to bunker outside the port limits; the cargo was not discharged and reloaded, as the document would have represented.