What is AWB and why is it important?

Air transport is guided by a document that certifies international transport as a contract by air. The document is known as an Air Waybill or AWB, as it serves as a receipt for the sender.

This document indicates that the carrier has accepted the goods listed and agrees to transport them to the airport. The AWB will need to be delivered to the importer in the destination country, as it is primarily used for international transportation.

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What is the structure of this type of document?

The AWB document consists of pink, blue, green/yellow forms. These shall always be legible and correctly written. Six copies shall be issued and distributed as follows:

  • Pink form for the recipient of the shipment.
  • Blue form for the shipper, which serves as a receipt for the goods.
  • Green/yellow form for the airline.
  • Copy 1, yellow, which is signed by the consignee when the carrier delivers.
  • Copy 2 white, kept by the airport.
  • Copy 3, 4 and 5 white, for airlines.
  • Copy 6 white for the air broker.

Why is AWB so important in air transport?

The AWB document regulates the conditions of transport of the goods. All data must be entered correctly, since the carrier will be with the goods until the importer presents this document. In this case, if the document is incorrectly filled out, the merchandise will be detained at customs, so it is important to avoid this type of problem with a good management of the documentation.

The AWB is essential for the shipment of goods by air transport, as it certifies the receipt of the cargo by the airline together with the conditions of carriage.

How is an AWB filled?

The way to fill out an AWB document is as follows:

  • Air waybill number: Number of the pre-printed air waybill, usually located on the upper left side.
  • Sender information
  • Recipient information
  • Airport of embarkation (departure)
  • Airport of disembarkation (destination)
  • Flight number
  • Date of flight
  • Type of merchandise, i.e., in this case the description of the merchandise and its nature, packages, weight, quantity, etc. is indicated.
  • Freight amount and where it is paid, whether at origin or at destination
  • AWB Number
  • Details of the forwarding agent
  • Value of goods being transported
  • Airfare, including surcharges

The AWB document is a transport document that indicates all the characteristics of the goods to be transported and the means of transport.

In this document, there must be, at all times, truthful information that can be verified by any operator by supporting documents.

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