FCL CLEARING GUIDE, Find Out How & The Tricks!


FCL Clearing guide

As the global supply chain continues to amass in volume, solid freights has also had its fair share in that trajectory, and this has seen container ships increase in size over the years. With regards to freight orders, it’s evident a close look at the ‘FCL clearing guide’ wouldn’t be shaped accordingly if our primary objective isn’t driven home. In view of this, efforts have been made to ensure that a look in this sphere of logistics practically addressed our concern.

To address this professionally, as we dive in swiftly, firstly, is to have access to the shipment document while noting our focus in this subject (full container load freight). And more significantly is the shipment bill of lading, packing list, shipment invoice, and so on. And once these documents have been received, a timely response is required for this service delivery, with that in mind, carefully study and figure out from the bill of lading the shipping company (precisely, the liner) that should be contacted for the delivery of the goods. However, this action is necessary to ensure terrible outcomes are avoided, equally noting that the status of the freight is figured out.

It’s also important to find out the location of the port or terminal where the subject freight would be unloaded while tracking the vessel’s ETA to ensure excessive demurrage isn’t incurred. But prior to this, the logistics firm ought to have been confirmed eligible by these entities (the port and the liner), meaning the subject firm already has their authority. With that said, proceed with the customs documentation process, which would require the submission of the shipment documents to the customs.

Meanwhile, when it comes to exiting and delivering FCL freights (considering our focus ‘FCL clearing guide’), customs documentation is key. This is because, customs would have to figure out the value of the freight with the aid of its ‘HS Code’, the goods proforma invoice, and the description of the goods. Although, this is often evaluated from the ‘PAAR’ (pre-annual assessment report) and the ‘FORM-M’ raised via the consignee’s commercial bank. Should PAAR be used to customs clear such freight! Form-M would be raised.

Going forward, they’re terminologies deployed in this sphere of logistics, which will entail ‘capturing’ and ‘punching’ of the freight, which in practice is classified as a “job” via a DTI Café. For example, when a clearing agent is at this stage, if asked to ascertain his achievement, he would say… “I’ve captured the job” via the customs portal. To effect this process, the parameters below are to be imputed on the portal.

  • Terminal code
  • The rotation number (RTN) (Generated by the shipping line)
  • The Tin number
  • The name of the consignee and the dimension of the container.

As soon as the subject freight has been unloaded at the port, it’s expected of the clearing agent to book for customs examination through the terminal operators, this process would exclude Diplomatic freights. However, once customs have examined the shipment, they will draft their report – while the action is carried out to ensure the description on shipment documents tallied with all that is contained in the container. If all goes well and the freight tariff effected accordingly, then the freight is considered released by the customs. To confirm the exit process of the freight from the port or terminal, an ‘Exit Note’ from the customs via the terminal or the port authority would be issued in this regard.  Once the customs process is completed, you just have to proceed with the next stage.

The next is to effect the shipping and terminal release, with this in mind, the clearing agent is expected to address all shipping requirements, by paying the local shipping charges which would include the container deposit fund (this will be refunded to the logistics firm responsible for the clearing, except when the container is returned within the rated period and not damaged but if it gets damaged or delayed beyond the rated date, those charges will be deducted from the container deposit).

And once the shipping requirements have been met, submit all relevant documents to the shipping company to effect the shipment release or delivery process. This includes a copy of the original bill of lading document, indemnity letter, a copy of the firm’s authority letter, and so on. Then the clearing agent will be issued the shipment Delivery Order (DO).

Lastly, is to work towards the terminal delivery order, and to go about this, pick up their payment advice (terminal handling charges) and effect accordingly, and once this has been done, submit the following:

  • The customs Exit Note
  • A copy of the Indemnity letter
  • A copy of the shipment bill of lading document coupled with a valid copy of the terminal payment invoice and receipt.    

The port authority or the terminal will run their verification and confirm if the documents are valid, and once it’s cleared, the Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) and the Equipment Interchange document will be issued, and once this has been issued, an Authority to Load (ATL) will as well be issued to the clearing agent which serves as an authorization, this implies that the haulage has been given access into the port and load the container. While that is going on, proceed to the gate and process the final exit, which only requires the verification of the shipment and the delivery documents. Then, you’re done. Congratulation.

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