Accuracy of Transaction Documents

| DRC

Sometimes when DRC Trading Assistance Staff is reviewing a dispute file, we find contradictory information on the transaction documents which are not part of the disputed matter between the parties.

Since a high percentage of the produce industry’s transactions do not have a written contract, the contract between the parties is established by the documents supporting the transactions. This includes, but is not limited to documents such as a purchase order, invoice, bill of lading, passing, broker’s confirmation of sale and any written communication.

When there is conflicting information on any of these documents, more fuel could be added to the dispute because we are now dealing with an additional element that was not part of the original matter under dispute. Therefore, these are some of the items we recommend verifying prior to issuing documents such as a purchase order, an invoice, bill of lading or a broker’s confirmation of sale:

  • Make sure you have the buyer or seller’s correct legal entity name or trade name. You can contact DRC, PACA, or the Blue Book (if you are a member) to see if the name matches what you have.
  • Invoices normally have a “sold to”, “shipped to” field. The grower-shipper needs to be advised by the buyer/receiver where the load is being shipped to, including any stops before reaching final destination as good delivery determinations are based on the named destination.
  • US#1, CAN #1, CAT 1, etc. are not the same. All grade standards are different. These terms need to be discussed, understood and agreed upon.
  • Consignment and Price After Sale (P.A.S.) or Open Price, are not the same. These terms need to be discussed, understood and agreed upon. Solutions Blog Article
  • A broker’s confirmation of sale must be sent to both parties, and both parties must verify the information on this document is accurate.
  • Suggested transit temperature noted on the bill of lading should match the load instructions provided to the carrier by the shipper or the receiver. If conflicting information regarding temperatures is found, the carrier needs to contact the freight contractor or the shipper/receiver to confirm the right temperature setting on the reefer unit.

When noticing conflicting information on the documents related to a transaction, it is your responsibility to promptly let the parties involved in the transaction know that you have found an error or omission and request that document be amended accordingly.