C&F Agent and Their Role in Export Shipment

Who is a C&F agent?

C&F agents (“Clearing and forwarding agent“) are one of the essential parties of export-import transaction process. In export shipment, their main jobs are to manage document assessments and approval for export/import from customs.

Because of custom is a bonded area, the exporter or importer does not have permission to enter in there to perform any clearing or forwarding formalities. However, C&F agents are authorized to enter in customs area for completing shipment formalities. Therefore, importers and exporters appoint them for clearing (import) and forwarding (export) goods from customs on behalf of them. In this writing, we will demonstrate the role of an C&F agent particularly in export shipment.  

How do C&F agents work in Export Shipment?

The diagram below shows the functionalities of a C&F agent and the relationship between an agent and an exporter. As shown, in the beginning of the shipment process, the exporter appoint a C&F agent in order  to maintain custom formalities and complete the shipping procedure. Exporters also provide all the necessary documents to fulfill custom requirements.

C & F agent process diagram
C & F Agent and Exporter in Shipment Process

As soon as the goods enter in port area, C&F manages stuffing/loading in container or other specific loading spaces. Besides that, they check and arrange all the necessary customs documents. In addition, they prepare bill of export. As part of the procedure, they submit all the documents along with the bill of export to the custom authority for export approval. If everything goes well, the authority gives approval for export. Customs also assess and attest all these documents.  Finally, C&F agent sends back these documents to the exporter.  That brings the end of formal custom process in an exporting port.

C&F agent fee:

The total amount of a C&F bill includes duty, stuffing charge, terminal container charge, labor cost, service fee etc. Normally, the bill varies in terms of the size of the consignment and the mood of shipment (land/sea/air). Furthermore, customs duty also varies for products. Service charge for the job might also depend on the basis of C&F agent’s reputation and experience. Therefore, an exporter must understand the process of shipment clearly to avoid over paying.

Choosing a C&F agent:

Mistakes in Export-import shipment procedures can be very costly and time consuming. Therefore, exporters should appoint experts for the job. C&F agents familiar with the custom environments are also handy in this business. Since, customs procedure is a lengthy matter, an experienced C& F can fasten the process . Henceforth, it is worth to spend a bit more for a well experienced C&F agent.

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