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BIMCO publishes first-ever Standard Mate’s Receipt

Published: 06 September 2023

BIMCO has published a Standard Mate’s Receipt to encourage harmonisation of paper processes in the bulk shipping industry and help build a solid foundation for digital transformation. 

The mate’s receipt is a key document in shipping. It is a receipt for the goods received on board a ship. Much of the information contained in the mate’s receipt is carried through to the bill of lading. The mate’s receipt is issued by the ship to the shipper or their agent and exchanged for the bill of lading, so alignment between the two documents is important. 

The new Standard is free to use and can be obtained here: Mate’s Receipt (

The Standard is published as a paper standard, but a corresponding digital standard has been developed. BIMCO is actively assisting the industry in digitalisation initiatives, one of them being moving to electronic bills of lading. Because of the interplay between these two key documents, it is expected that this will make the transition smoother. 

Earlier this year BIMCO was contacted by members who were reporting that variations and inconsistencies in the information contained in Mate’s Receipts around the world were causing unnecessary disputes. Often the disputes arise when there are inconsistencies between information in the Bill of Lading and the Mate’s Receipt. To assist with solving these challenges, BIMCO has launched a new Mate’s Receipt Standard. 

The Mate’s Receipt Standard was developed in close collaboration with BIMCO members. It is published as a Version 1.0 and will be updated as and when feedback is received – we encourage anyone who uses it to provide us with feedback at

The Standard is available in English with six additional versions containing dual language translations into commonly used languages:  English/Arabic, English/Chinese, English/Japanese, English/Korean, English/Portuguese and English/Spanish. This will hopefully assist in the broad uptake of the standard.  


Mads Wacher Kjaergaard

Manager, Standards, Innovation and Research

Copenhagen, Denmark