Clearing and Freight Forwarding Agent
2016-03-13 | 9676
Most people tend to have a misconception about the role of a freight forwarder and a clearing agent and tend to use both terminologies interchangeably.
There are lots of these freight forwarding companies that parade as clearing and forwarding agent but only have permits to execute duties as freight forwarders. It is rare but also common to see both a certified and licensed clearing and forwarding companies execute both freight forwarding and custom clearance task.
In order to clear the dust, I will begin by explaining the difference between a freight forwarder and a clearing agent job function; Freight forwarder and clearing agent both execute different functions which are equally important.
Freight Forwarding Functions
- A freight forwarder provides storage for cargo belonging to their clients in a warehouse (usually all big freight forwarding companies own or facilitates warehouses)
- A freight forwarder procures the distribution or “forwarding” of their client cargo as instructed by their client… Which could be a regular routing or various routings
- They have the capacity to negotiate freight rates with the shipping line to cover the interest of their clients
- They book the cargo with the shipping line as per the requirement of the client
- They prepare bills of lading and associated shipping/negotiating documentation (F178, Certificate of Origin, etc)
- A freight forwarder do issue their approved house bill of lading as applicable
- They MAY or MAY NOT also do Custom Clearance
- They MAY or MAY NOT be accredited to customs, port etc and cannot do customs clearance if not accredited
- They are frequently patronized by clients as an alternative shipping line
A clearing agent on the other hand takes care of the customs clearance aspect of the business. In short it can be said that a clearing agent has his company accredited with border agencies.
Custom clearance By definition: Customs clearance work involves preparation and submission of documentation required to facilitate export or imports into the country, representing client during customs examination, assessment, payment of duty and co taking delivery of cargo from customs after clearance along with documents. source:- www.universalcargo.com/blog/bid/95413/What-is-Customs-Clearance
Clearing Agent Functions
- Clearing agent is a accredited and company licensed with the local customs authorities, border agencies, port authorities and directives etc.
- A Clearing agent procures the necessary documents at customs that will authorize the custom clearance of cargo or goods of their clients.
- A Clearing agent company will arrange for customs inspections as required for each cargos type under section by law of representative country.
- They check and process Duty and VAT payments as applicable for any consignment or cargo due for custom clearance.
- They can apply for refunds etc where applicable
- Clearing agents cannot issue own bills of lading if not registered or acting as a freight forwarder
Now these are the main differences between a Clearing Agent and a Freight Forwarder…So if you come across a reliable licensed logistic company that can represent both as a clearing and forwarding agent, then you can be rest assured that you might end up reducing a lot of headaches and cost, especially if you are dealing with such issues like resolving the specifics on the how to’s when it comes to Nigeria Customs Service tariff for different consignments and cargos.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Customs Clearing Agent
Import and export of goods seems impossible without the help of a customs clearing agent. A clearing agent is one who has the license to serve as an agent in the process of clearing of cargo/consignment on behalf of consignee. For business entrepreneurs, it is difficult to keep track of the complex and evolving rules and regulations. A customs clearing agent in Nigeria can be appointed for we take up the entire responsibility of clearing the goods and hence, facilitate a prompt and timely delivery, which is so very essential for the businesses.