Efficient logistics and shipping processes are integral to building a successful export business. Exporters must ensure that importers continue to receive the ordered goods without any delay and in a hassle-free manner. However, an exporter has to focus on the core business operations as well. As a result, clearing and forwarding agents play an important role in building a seamless logistics framework for a business.
The clearing and forwarding agents mainly play an important role in packaging, labeling, accessing duty-drawback schemes, advising on trade laws, and facilitating local transportation. These agents can guide exporters on the various transportation modes available to select the best option for improved business efficiency.
Who is a Clearing Agent?
Clearing agents are specialized professionals that get the goods cleared from Customs by completing all the formalities involved in the process. The clearing agent also coordinates with the carrier about various shipping and delivery-related activities. A clearing agent helps businesses to focus on their core operations.
Who is a Forwarding Agent?
Forwarding agents are also known as freight forwarders. These are professionals who manage the transportation of international freight. The key task for a forwarding agent is to ensure that the goods are being transferred in a safe, efficient, and cost-effective manner.
What are the Requirements for Clearing and Forwarding Agents?
Clearing and forwarding agents are specialized professionals that know the ins and outs of shipment and customs procedures. They usually help exporters with the following tasks:
- Facilities for warehousing before goods are put on the vessels
- Booking space for shipping or freight
- Advice on the best route for shipping goods via air or sea
- Ensuring that goods are loaded onboard
- Providing the right information about shipping lines and freight to various destinations
- Securing insurance policies like marine insurance
- Prepare documents like Bill of Lading, export declaration, commercial invoice, certificate of origin, etc
- Handling the papers for bank collection
What are the Responsibilities of Clearing and Forwarding Agents?
Clearing and forwarding agents play a vital role in ensuring that the goods are cleared by customs. They manage various requirements and regulations and facilitate the seamless shipment of goods. The responsibilities of clearing and forwarding agents are as follows:
- Arriving at the harmonized tariff of products
- Arriving at import duties for the products
- Helping in ensuring that information received from seller and buyer is correct
- Filling up the Bill of Entry and ensuring its submission
- Ensuring goods are cleared by Customs Department
- Provide support to exporters and work as a guarantor to ensure that the transaction is completed as per expectations
How to Select the Right Clearing and Forwarding Agent?
It is important to select the right clearing and forwarding agent to ensure that the business meets its commitments. A clearing and forwarding agent has to be aware of the expected duties and responsibilities to do the assigned tasks effectively. Here are some factors a business should consider when selecting a clearing and forwarding agent:
It is better to go for an agent that has some experience in the area of clearing and forwarding. It helps because the agent can provide the right solutions to achieve better efficiency for the business.
A business should always test the problem-solving abilities of the clearing and forwarding agents being considered for the role. The agent must be able to solve the problems fast. The agent should come up with solutions that help a business get the logistical and customs clearance process sorted.
Cost is also a big factor when selecting the right clearing and forwarding agent. Always consider the budget and select the right clearing and forwarding agent as per the requirement of the business.
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What is forwarding and clearing?
Clearing and forwarding agents are specialized professionals that help in getting customs clearance and work with the shipping company to ensure the timely delivery of goods.
What is the difference between forwarding and clearing agents?
Clearing agents help in getting clearance from Customs while forwarding agents ensure that the cargo has been forwarded as per the expectations of the seller.
Are clearing and forwarding agents private entities?
Yes. Forwarding and clearing agents are private professionals.
What is the difference between a carrying agent and a clearing agent?
Carrying agents are responsible for coordination between sellers and shipping companies. Their key work is to ensure the seamless delivery of goods. Clearing agents are responsible for getting customs clearance of goods.
Does Amazon help in documentation and international shipping process?
Yes. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) helps sellers with efficient storage, packing, and delivery of products to International customers. Amazon also recommends the FBA option to its sellers. This allows them to focus on core business operations while Amazon can handle all these aspects of the business.