Airway bill is issued by air carrier of goods on receipt of goods after completion of export customs formalities of the country. Shipper obtains airway bill once after handing over cargo to them. Since the cargo reaches by air and transit time is too less compared to sea shipment, a set of airway bill is sent along with the cargo for immediate reference on transit and for import customs clearance at destination port by importer. Once after completion of customs formalities at load port customs location, cargo transfer manifest (CTM) issued by IATA agent along with airway bill and other required documents for transportation submits to air carriers. Original airway bills are issued in quintuplicate which is meant for carrier, importer, shipper and additional copies.
MAWB is Master airway is issued by main carrier of goods on receipt of goods from a freight forwarder to deliver at destination as per agreed terms. HAWB means House airway bill issued by a freight forwarder on receipt of goods from shipper agreeing to deliver goods at destination.
A, a freight forwarder acts as a carrier legally accepts cargo from an exporter X agreeing to deliver cargo to Y at New York. A issues Airway bill to X on receipt of goods after necessary export customs formalities. A after receiving goods from X transfers goods to C who is a main carrier of goods. While transferring goods to C, A obtains an airway bill from main carrier C agreeing to deliver cargo at New York. Here, the airway bill issued by A to X is called house airway bill and the air way bill issued by C to A is called Master airway bill.