Unclean bill of lading. Under the UCP 1983, a “clean transport document is one which bears no superimposed clause or notation which expressly declares a defective condition of the goods and/or the packaging”.
Accordingly, if a bill of lading, as a transport document, does bear such a clause, it will be “unclean”. The clause should refer to the condition of the goods and/or the packaging when the goods are shipped. Banks will normally reject transport documents with such clauses. It may be pointed out that the defective nature of the goods and/or the packaging should refer to the condition of the objects themselves. A clause simply stating that the goods are shipped in “second-hand cases” does not imply that the packaging is defective although this may be a “superimposed clause or notation” and may lead the exporter into difficulties because banks are very conservative and cautious.