The freight forwarder serves the bill of lading when they take control of the goods, either at your supplier’s warehouse or Qingdao port. Forwarders typically release the BOL as three original documents, and all three are required to collect the cargo. Your supplier will need to send you the original BOL or a telex release to present to UK customs once your cargo arrives. If the supplier sends the original BOL via post, then a telex release is not acceptable. Working with the original BOL carries the inherent risk of loss.
Lost Bills of Lading pose a big problem because sea carriers hand out containers based on the BOL. If the BOL is unavailable, then you may not be allowed to collect the goods. If the container remains in the port for too long, it attracts a downtime or demurrage fee.