What is the difference between freight forwarders and customs brokers/agents in Nigeria? This question has been asked by clients several times. Therefore I am going to make the explanation as simple as possible. Enjoy!
Nigerian Freight Forwarders:
Nigerian Freight Forwarders act as middlemen between the shipping lines or airlines and the importer/exporter. They take care movement of cargo from one country in the world to another (through sea or air).
Nigerian Freight forwarders help exporters prepare price quotes by advising on freight costs, port charges, consular fees, costs of special documentation, insurance costs, and their handling fees. They review all documents to ensure that everything is in order. This is very important when dealing with letter of credit payment terms.
Logistics wise, Nigerian freight forwarders talk to shipping liners and airlines to book space, to receive and load cargo. They will also coordinate with partner agents in other countries. They might also link up with trucking firms for inland haulage. And they talk to custom brokers (a separate team in their firm or a different broker appointed by the importer/exporter) for documentation and cargo handover.
Nigerian Customs Brokers:
Nigerian Custom brokers on the other hand, is an individual or company that is licensed to act as agents of importers/exporters. They use their very technical expertise in the smooth clearance of cargo at the customs – export and import.
Customs business is limited to those activities involving transactions related to the entry and admissibility of merchandise; its classification and valuation; the payment of duties, taxes, or other charges assessed or collected; or the refund, rebate, or drawback thereof.
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