Re: Clearing and Forwarding (C & F) Agent -
January 16th, 2011
Clearing and Forwarding (C & F) Agent
Dr. A.K. Sengupta
(Former Dean, IIFT)
• Clearing and Forwarding agents are essential link in international
• C & F agent plays a vital role in fulfilling the various delivery
commitments made by the exporter to the importer abroad.
• C & F agent facilitate the smooth and trouble free passage of
cargo from the point of manufacture to the destination.
Activities of a C& F Agent
1. C & F agent works closely with the exporter right from the
receipt of offer stage. He provides freight rates to various
destinations and also informs the exporter about the most
economical modes of transportation. He also advises the most
cost effective routing advice for the destination.
2. Once the order is received by the exporter, C & F agent
makes the ship booking keeping in mind the last date of
shipment on the letter of credit.
3. As the dispatch dead line approaches, C & F agent estimates
the transit time between the factory and the port of shipment
as mentioned in the L/C. Accordingly he advises the exporter
about the dispatch date from the factory, so that the cargo
reaches the port right time. If the cargo reaches too early, it
attracts demurrage charges. On the other hand, if the cargo
reaches late, it may miss the ship, thereby causing the delay
Such delays are inconvenient and expensive to both the
importer as well as the exporter.
4. Once the goods are dispatched from the factory, the C & F
agent intimates the shipping line regarding the expected
arrival schedule of the goods at the port, along with the mode
of inland transportation. He also completes the octroi
formalities (wherever necessary) so that the export good are
not subjected to octroi duty.
5. The C&F agent takes delivery of the consignment from the
road transport company or the railway station. The cargo is
stored in C&F agent warehouse till shipment. Soon after
receiving the cargo, the C&F agent initiates action to obtain
customs clearance and seek permission of port authorities for
bringing the cargo to the shipment shed.
6. C & F agent then applies for and secures port permit so that
the goods can enter the port premises. At the same time, the
C & F agent helps the exporter in preparing the export
declaration form that the value specification quantity and
description of goods mentionedin the shipping bill are in
according with the export contract and the statement made in
the shipping bill is true.
7. After this, the C & F agent prepares bill of lading in
compliance with the terms and conditions of the sale/ letter of
8. After this, the bill of lading is submitted to the shipping
company and the cargo is loading on board the vessel. The
shipping company representative examines the cargo for its
condition and signs the bill of lading accordingly. In case of
CFR and CIF contracts the ocean freight is also paid, at this
stage and the “Freight Prepaid” seal is obtained on the bill of
C&F agent then collects all the documents such as bill of lading,
customs certified invoice, consular invoice, certificate of origin etc from
the respective authorities and sends them to the exporter for further