• Current through October 23, 2012

Neither a duplicate nor any other document of title purporting to cover goods already represented by an outstanding document of the same issuer confers any right in the goods, except as provided in the case of bills in a set, overissue of documents for fungible goods and substitutes for lost, stolen or destroyed documents. But the issuer is liable for damages caused by his overissue or failure to identify a duplicate document as such by conspicuous notation on its face.

(Dec. 30, 1963, 77 Stat. 727, Pub. L. 88-243, § 1.)



Prior Uniform Statutory Provision

Section 6, Uniform Warehouse Receipts Act; Section 7, Uniform Bills of Lading Act.


Consolidated and rewritten.

Purposes of Changes

1. This section treats a duplicate which is not properly identified as such like any other overissue of documents: a purchaser of such a document acquires no title but only a cause of action for damages against the person who made his deception possible, except in the cases noted in the section. But parts of a bill lawfully issued in a set of parts are not "overissue" (Section 7-304). Of course, if the issuer has clearly indicated that a document is a duplicate so that no one can be deceived by it, and in fact the duplicate is a correct copy of the original, the warehouseman is not liable for preparing and delivering such a duplicate copy.

2. The section applies to nonnegotiable documents to the extent of providing an action for damages for one who acquires an unmarked duplicate from a transferor who knew the facts and would therefore himself have had no cause of action against the issuer of the duplicate. Ordinarily the transferee of a nonnegotiable document acquires only the rights of his transferor.

3. Overissue is defined so as to exclude the common situation where two valid documents of different issuers are outstanding for the same goods at the same time. Thus freight forwarders commonly issue bills of lading to their customers for small shipments to be combined into carload shipments for which the railroad will issue a bill of lading to the forwarder. So also a warehouse receipt may be outstanding against goods, and the holder of the receipt may issue delivery orders against the same goods. In these cases dealings with the subsequently issued documents may be effective to transfer title; e.g. negotiation of a delivery order will effectively transfer title in the ordinary case where no dishonesty has occurred and the goods are available to satisfy the orders. Section 7-503 provides for cases of conflict between documents of different issuers.

Cross References

Point 1: Sections 7-207, 7-304, and 7-601.

Point 3: Section 7-503.

Definitional Cross References

"Bill of lading". Section 1-201.

"Conspicuous". Section 1-201.

"Document". Section 7-102.

"Document of title". Section 1-201.

"Fungible" goods. Section 1-201.

"Goods". Section 7-102.

"Issuer". Section 7-102.

"Right". Section 1-201.

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 28:7-402.

1973 Ed., § 28:7-402.