LCL Clearing Guide, Unfolding The Hidden Fact Of This Trade Type


LCL clearing guide
LCL Shipments

As we know trade orders come in diverse forms or categories, however, from a shipment point of view, it should be borne in mind that things could be half-baked if this subject isn’t brought to the limelight. To wrap up trade associated with containers is to have our core area of focus delivered in the right proportion. Hence, the reason why the LCL clearing guide promises to unfold in-depth facts which cut across the legal processes on how to exit and deliver this category of trade.

As for this subject, it’s also a category of trade shipped with the aid of containers irrespective of the nature of the goods and volume. However, a single shipment of this type of trade often consists of several consignees with at least two which is economically driven to reduce the cost of freight. Noting that this type of trade is classified as a ‘less than container load’ (LCL) shipment. Ideally, to customs clear this type of trade would mean taking delivery of each shipment without the container, noting that shipments of this type will, first be unpacked from the container into a warehouse (CFS) at the destination before each consignee takes delivery through its clearing agent.

One will also have to say that, customs clearing an LCL freight from its storage unit would require a different approach, unlike the measures taken to customs clear a full container load from any port or terminal.

Going forward, tracking the shipment is ideally the first step towards a timely clearing of this category of freight. Should the shipment delivery be delayed? Then, excessive local charges (storage) would be accrued. This could only be done after the consignee has reached out to a clearing firm or individual (in some cases) who in this regard have delivered a set of freight documents to the firm. Such as the house bill of lading, packing list, and proforma invoice. However, should the PAAR document be deployed? It should be presented to the clearing agent as well. All these will be in process before the shipment’s arrival.

Further on this, it’s expected that the clearing agent to contact the shipping company at place final destination with the aid of the shipment house bill of lading. Bearing in mind that the subject shipping company at this point serves as the ‘Agent’ to the LCL Consolidator or its principal. Of course, the clearing agency in the same vein should also be considered as eligible to carry out its function with the shipping company (already has its authority endorsed). With that said, figure out the expected time of arrival of the vessel from the shipping company, alternatively, the shipment container could be tracked if it won’t be transhipped with a different container.

Once the vessel’s ETA has been figured out, proceed with the customs documentation process by submitting the shipment documents including the PAAR that was triggered via the consignee’s commercial bank to the customs import section, then initiate the entry process. At this point, customs would have to figure out the value of the freight from the house bill of lading with the aid of its ‘HS Code’ and the product invoice. But if the ‘Valuation’ approach is to be deployed, then the freight tariff would only be issued after customs have done their physical finding. 

As we dive deep into this subject (LCL clearing guide), it will be fair to deploy terminologies used in practice. Here’s something we should note as well, the clearing agent isn’t required to capture the whole container nor the shipment master bill of lading (MBL). However, here is how to walk around the capturing process via a ‘DTI’ platform. Impute the following parameters:

  • The TIN
  • The Terminal code
  • The rotation number (RTN from the shipping company)
  • The name of the consignee

Once this process is complete, then the ‘job is successfully captured’, and with that in place, the freight tariff will be issued. But for PUBD freights, it’s simply zero tariffs. As soon as the tariff has been effected, proceed with the customs examination process to have the shipment released. While taking release from customs often comes in stages, which result to some customs documents being issued, such as the shipment ‘print-out’ and so no, lastly, the ‘Exit Note’, indicating that the shipment has been released by the customs and could exit the CFS warehouse.

At this juncture, the clearing agent would have to focus on the shipping and terminal release process. This is how to go about this, firstly, effect the shipping company release by paying the company’s local charges based on the date it’s been billed (rating date in practice) which should remain valid until the shipment exits the warehouse. Should the payment advice expire within the set period it’s been billed! The clearing agent would be billed additional storage cost (known as rent above stipulated days. Like rent below 7 days, rent above 7 days period). But often, this process is usually merged with the terminal.

If the shipping and the terminal releases are merged, then the clearing agent would be required to pay the local bills with single payment advice. As soon as that has been effected, proceed with the following documents to take delivery of the shipment.

  • A copy of the customs ‘Exit Note’
  • A copy of the original copy of the freight bill of lading
  • Valid copies of the shipping company’s payment advice
  • Original copy of Indemnity letter from the clearing firm

These four documents would certainly take care of the shipping company’s release, and in the process, the clearing agent would be issued a ‘Delivery Order’ (DO), while the below would be required for the terminal release and delivery process. However, these documents should be presented.

  • A copy of the original Delivery Order from the shipping company
  • Copies of valid payment advice
  • A copy of the customs Exit Note
  • A copy of the shipment house bill of lading
  • A copy of the Indemnity letter from the clearing firm, which would include other documents.

Eventually, this will see the terminal issue the Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) to the clearing agent responsible for the delivery process. In addition to that is the Authority to Load (ATL) design as a tool for passage, authorizing a haulage truck or van to gain access into the port or terminal and load shipments. And lastly about this subject (LCL clearing guide) – is the gate, and this is strictly verification of delivery documents, ranging from customs down to the terminal (applicable if the warehouse is situated within the port premises), and if not, you should be talking next business because you’re done with the clearing process. Congratulation.

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