I think it is important we discuss who is a Freight Forwarder and a custom broker before we start discussing the differences between a Freight Forwarder and a Custom Broker. This is very important because I do not want to assume we are expert here; even though we are. This is because I have come to realized that building on assumption is like building on a faulty foundation.
Who is a Freight Forwarder?
A freight forwarder, forwarder, or forwarding agent, also known as a non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC), is a person or company that organizes shipments for individuals or corporations to get goods from the manufacturer or producer to a market, customer or final point of distribution. They take care movement of cargo from one country in the world to another (through sea or air).
A forwarder does not move the goods but acts as an expert in the logistics network. These carriers can use a variety of shipping modes, including ships, airplanes, trucks, and railroads, and often multiple modes for a single shipment. For example, the freight forwarder may arrange to have cargo moved from a plant to an airport by truck, flown to the destination city, then moved from the airport to a customer’s building by another truck.
International freight forwarders typically handle international shipments. International freight forwarders have additional expertise in preparing and processing customs and other documentation and performing activities pertaining to international shipments.
Information typically reviewed by a freight forwarder includes the commercial invoice, shipper’s export declaration, bill of lading and other documents required by the carrier or country of export, import, and/or transshipment. Much of this information is now processed in a paperless environment.
Who is a Custom Broker?
Customs brokers are private individuals, partnerships, associations or corporations licensed, regulated and empowered by the Government to assist importers and exporters in meeting Federal requirements governing imports and exports. Brokers submit necessary information and appropriate payments to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on behalf of their clients and charge them a fee for this service.
In other word; Customs brokerage is a profession that involves the “clearing” of goods through customs barriers for importers and exporters (usually businesses). This involves the preparation of documents and/or electronic submissions, the calculation and payment of taxes, duties and excises, and facilitating communication between government authorities and importers and exporters.
Custom brokers may be employed by or affiliated with freight forwarders, independent businesses, or shipping lines, importers, exporters, trade authorities, and customs brokerage firms.
Now that we know who is a freight forwarder and a custom broker. So, what is the difference between freight forwarders and customs brokers/agents in Nigeria? This is a common question in international trade that is why we are going to be discussing their differences in this article.
Difference Between Freight Forwarders and Customs Brokers/Agents In Nigeria
- Freight Forwarder helps in the transportation of goods either by sea or air. While Custom Broker clear goods at the border.
- Freight Forwarder takes goods to the custom broker at the port when exporting and take goods from the custom broker at the port when importing.
Please, kindly drop your comment if I missed anything out or you have any question.