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Rights and Obligations of a Freight Forwarder to Various Parties

Rights and Obligations of a Freight Forwarder to Various Parties

Freight Forwarder as a customs Agent-

  • A customs agent is a person who is licensed by the Commissioner of Customs for transacting business relating to the declaration or clearance of goods or baggage (other than accompanied un-manifested baggage) subject to customs control of a person travelling by air, land or sea on behalf of the owner.
  • A freight forwarder as a customs agent performs his/her duties under the authority of the owner of the goods. In accordance with section 146 of the EACCMA 2004, the agent has the authority in writing by the importer or exporter.
  • The EACMA 2004 recognizes the freight forwarder where a customs agent is to be licensed by the commissioner of customs to make preliminary documentation on behalf of customs for purposes of tax collection.

The licensed agent is expected to:

  • Acts as an intermediary between an importer/exporter and other parties in clearance of goods.
  • Make accurate declarations for purposes of customs tax collection.
  • Re-export with compliance strictly in line with requisite customs formalities. 
  • Ensure that correct taxes are paid to customs prior to cargo release and delivery to the Consignee.
  • Prepare and facilitate goods for examination.
  • Facilitate and avails warehousing facilities.
  • Provide import/export consultancy services.
  • Provide bond guarantees for goods under clearance where necessary.
  • Provides network with other related government agencies.

Freight Forwarders rights and obligations to importers and exporters:

  • Freight Forwarders also have rights and obligations to Importers and exporters. They act as agents of shippers and consignees in regard to facilitation and processing of cargo clearance from customs areas.
  • They also advice the shipper correctly on all his obligations.
  • Collect all requisite dues payable on behalf of all institutions e.g., Customs, Bureau of   standards, Ports authorities etc.
  • Ensure that funds collected are used specifically for purposes of collection in the goods therein.
  • Ensure that the goods are delivered safely to the consignee.

Other Parties:

  • A freight forwarder by virtue of being a customs agent and on the other hand an agent of the shipper/ exporter/ importer has to interact with other parties during the process of clearance of goods that may include but not limited to government agencies and ship agents.