Last Updated on September 16, 2021 by Ope Quadri
Clearing and forwarding companies can’t be neglected in the supply chain of goods across the border. As such exporters and importers can’t do without them.
They play a critical role in the shipping industry. In Nigeria for instance, a clearing and forwarding company or agent must be registered by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).
In some countries, a clearing agent may be different from a forwarding agent, depending on the regulatory laws. In Nigeria, for instance, a company could register as a clearing and forwarding firm.
Difference Between Clearing And Forwarding Agent
The clearing agent ensures that documents are arranged and transferred to the customs, calculates customs duty and other charges, and ensures that unnecessary delays are removed in order to avoid demurrage charges.
A forwarding agent on the other comes in where other responsibilities may not allow a clearing agent to handle the delivery.
In most cases they are also called freight forwarders, he acts on behalf of the importer to organise transport and ensuring that items get delivered to their destination according to specification.
As you play any of the above roles, you must keep up with the trends regarding the list of banned items that can’t be imported in your country of business operation.
What is demurrage?
Demurrage charges are the fees paid by an importer when items overstay at the terminal.
It’s important to work with a clearing agent with a tracking record who can push shipments through customs before demurrage begins to apply.
You may want to ask…
Who Is a Clearing And Forwarding Agent?
Also called C&F, clearing and forwarding agent is an expert who is registered by the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) and the Council for Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) to handle all customs formalities by coordinating with the carrier and taking care of all shipping and delivery related activities at the port.
They are needed in the international delivery of goods because the roles they play allows the exporter to concentrate on their core business activities
How To Register a Clearing And Forwarding Company
There are certain questions you need to satisfactorily answer before taking the nbold step of registering your freight company:
Which point of entry of goods and products do you want to concentrate on? Three points of entry are:
- Land border post
- Sea and Port
How do I build trust to get customers?
What are the available marketing platforms for me to get the message out?
Before that, below is the registration requirements for a clearing and forwarding firm in Nigeria:
- You must write a letter of application to the General Manager of Eastern or Western Ports
- Attach evidence of company registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)
- Memorandum and Article of Association
- Bank Reference
- Evidence of 3-year Tax Clearance Certificate
- CRFFN registration number
- Payment of N200, 000 registration fee via remita payable to NPA revenue account.
This means, your first point of call should be CAC portal, then obtain CRFFN certificate before proceeding to NPA.
How To Obtain CRFFN Licence
CRFFN is a body that regulates the activities of clearing and freight forwarding in Nigeria.
The creation of CRFFN is backed by an enabling law known as Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria Act No. 16 2007 which came into effect on April 30, 2007.
Note: You can register as an individual or as a corporate body.
To register as a company, you must provide the following:
- CRFFN Receipt from the portal
- Bank teller used in making the payment as evidence of payment for application
- CV of the Chief Executive Officer of the company
- CV of the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company
- CVs of all members of the Board of Directors of the company
- The profile of the company
- Verifiable office address in Nigeria
- Original and Certified True Copy (CTC) of company registration
- Original and Certified True Copy of Memorandum and Articles’ of Association
- Insurer Name
- Insurer number
- Original and Certified True Copy of CAC (Form CO2)
- Particulars of Directors
- CAC Annual Returns
- Original and photocopy of valid three years Tax Clearance Certificate (TCC)
- Company Logo
- Bank Verification Number
Registration fee for CRFFN Licence
The total registration fee is NGN22,600 and it’s divided as follows:
- Application Fee: ₦5000
- Registration Fee: ₦7500
- Annual Subscription: ₦10000
- BVN Verification Fee:₦100
It isn’t enough to register a freight forwarding company because you’re expecting the arrival of some items you bought from an overseas country.
And as an applicant, be aware that the fees specified on this post may slightly be different from what you get by the time you begin the registration process.
The registration for clearing and forwarding licence in Nigeria can be summarized as follows:
- Register your company or business with the corporate affairs commission
- Pay your company annual returns
- Register with an insurance company
- Register with the body that regulates freight forwarding in Nigeria CRFFN
- Send a letter of application to the GM of Western or Eastern terminals of the Nigeria Ports Authority and attach the documents mentioned above
- Submit application for freight forwarding
- Obtain your licence and begin operation.