RORO CLEARING PROCEDURE, Facts behind Its Delivery!


RORO Clearing procedure
SUV Loaded As FCL

Looking at the solid freight ecosystem while focusing precisely on the aspect of its delivery (guide), it’s evident omitting RORO clearing procedure will in no doubt have a terrible impact if one should consider the current global trade trajectory and the potential markets. Since roll-on-roll-out shipments come in different forms and dimensions, also in like manner is this category of freight shipped, and as such, delivering these freights would require mix and professional approach while taking into account – how it was shipped.

Unlike measures deployed to customs clear other categories of solid freights that exclude wheeled shipments. However, efforts are made in this regard to breakdown measures that could be deployed for each scenario. While for now, two out of the three options will be watered down, and that which is left off will in no doubt make its fall in our next publication.

This is because there are conditions for each scenario, which in turn, would require a specific approach. For example, if a clearing firm is contracted to customs clear wheeled freights shipped with the aid of containers irrespective of the volume, measures deployed for such shipment will certainly differ from the approach used to customs clear similar freight shipped directly on board a roll-on-roll-out vessel to its destination.

Regardless, let’s walk through this together while we focus on the first two scenarios. However, once a consignee has notified and delivered the shipment document to the clearing firm, firstly, figure out the mode of shipment from the port of loading. If the freight is shipped with a container as full container load, a master bill of lading will be deployed for the clearing process, but if the wheeled freight is shipped as less than a container load, then a house bill of lading is a sure bet in this case.

After a clearing agent must have carefully studied the freight documents precisely the bill of lading, figure out the mode shipment while the clearing firm is expected to track the shipment in order to ascertain its status while doing all that should be done to ensure outrageous local storage and handling bill isn’t incurred. In the same vein, find out the ship or the vessel’s expected time of arrival. More importantly, is to figure out where the shipment will be unloaded and stored before taking delivery.

While we address each of these scenarios, beginning with the first in this subject (RORO clearing procedure), bearing in mind our core focus – it will be fair to justify things accordingly.


Meanwhile, to shape our analogy in the right proportion, it will be needless to go through the stages that we’ve already been walked through, however, let’s dive straight to the customs documentation process. More significantly, a container could be used to ship a vehicle or a couple of it depending on its dimension, but as customs treat this as a full load while noting the content, the odd side of container demurrage should be avoided.

In view of this, timely submission of the shipment documents will certainly be the best bet. With that in place, customs would have to figure out the tariff that is enforced for such vehicles with the aid of the shipment production year via the freight bill of lading and the proforma bill. For instance, a bill of lading document that is enclosed with this description – 1×20 container STC (said to contain) a unit of 2016 Toyota Corolla. Customs would verify and effect the freight tariff, payable to the federal government of that country. Usually, customs will rather wait until the shipment has been unloaded and store within the port premises in order to ensure the freight bill of lading actually tallied with the shipment before tariffs are enforced.

This is because tariffs are usually enforced after customs inspection (examination), which is a responsibility triggered by a clearing firm. But if the freight contained in the box is classified as a used or damaged vehicle, obviously, the tariff will differ unlike when the same is shipped new. While this process is going on, also engage with the shipping company’s delivery process.

As for the shipping company’s process, request for the freight local payment advice which is often a fixed charge. While the port or terminal handling and storage bills increase by the day. Once the shipment tariff have been paid and other customs process have also been completed, the subject body would issue all release documents indicating the shipment underwent the due process, which will include the ‘Exit Note’.

Since we are done with the customs process, wrapping up with the shipping company’s delivery process will be ideal. Based on this, firstly, effect the company’s payment advice based on the period it’s been billed which will include the deposit fund, refundable if the company’s shipping equipment is returned in good shape. Should the empty return exceed the stipulated date or damaged! The freight company would deduct the penalty bill from the deposited fund, while in some cases, additional penalty bills including the deposited fund may be imposed by the company.

As soon as the local freight advice has been paid, it’s expected of the clearing firm or agent to proceed with the shipment release (delivery). While to deliver in this regard, the following documents will be required:

  • Original copy of the shipment bill of lading document
  • Copy or copies of payment advice
  • Indemnity letter, which may include other documents as well.

Once things are shaped accordingly, the clearing firm will be issued a Delivery Order (DO).

As for the port or terminal delivery process, be rest assured it’s just a straightforward approach. RORO clearing procedure at this point would only require the payment of the freight handling and storage bills, and as soon as the payment advice has been issued, pay accordingly and present the following requirements to the port operator, which will include:

  • Delivery Order issued by the shipping company
  • Evidence of paid port bills       
  • A copy of the freight bill of lading
  • Indemnity letter, which may include other documents.

And once the clearing firm is through with this stage, the clearing firm or agent would be issued a Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) coupled with an ‘Authority to Load’ document, with that in place, the shipment is set to be delivered to the consignee.

Vehicle Loaded As LCL


Let’s walk through this together, as for this scenario the clearing firm is expected to track the freight by contacting the shipping company at the port of destination, otherwise, one could track the container with which the shipment was shipped once the consignee has delivered the shipment document to the firm. Noting that the shipment will not be delivered to the consignee with the container, hence, transfer and storage bills should be considered a concern. While in the process of tracking the shipment, figure out the expected time of arrival including the location of the company’s warehouse where the vehicle will be stored after the container which entails all consignees’ freight has been retrieved.

Taking the right measure would mean, engaging firstly with the customs documentation process. This would require the submission of the freight documents to the customs, this time, the shipment house bill of lading (HSB), shipment proforma bill, and the PAAR document (if raised through the consignee’s commercial bank), otherwise, the valuation approach could be deployed. And as soon as these documents have been presented to customs, the freight enforced tariff would be issued accordingly by customs.

Meanwhile, while the customs documentation process is going on, frequent checks on the shipping company in order to find out if the freight container has been retrieved and unpacked into the warehouse should also be prioritized. And if unpacked into the warehouse, booking for customs examination often after the freight local bills have been paid to the shipping company should be the next on the cue. Based on this, customs will in the process figure out the state of the subject vehicle (new, used, or damaged).

In view of this, the actual tariff would only be issued based on customs findings, and that would mean, figuring out if the shipment description detailed on the house bill of lading tallied with the subject shipment. Should there be a wrong declaration! That will mean prolong scrutiny coupled with “customs amendment” filed through a shipping company that could potentially incur a penalty fee. However, once the clearing firm is through with customs assessment and the freight tariff billed has been paid, and has done all that is required by the customs, then the shipment ‘Exit Note’ will be issued.

At point one is good to focus on shipment delivery requirements with the shipping company, this is also paramount but would not require much scrutiny. This is owing to the fact that it’s a straightforward approach. Here the clearing firm responsible for the delivery of the subject shipment would be issued a local shipping bill that will be billed based on the period it been advice to be billed. Though in some cases the shipping and terminal local fees are merged as single payment advice. While in practice, the period the freight is been billed is crucial which requires strict adherence, with that in mind, effort should be made to present the following documents to the shipping company within the stipulated period in order to avoid additional bills. These include:

  • Original copy of the shipment house bill of lading
  • Evidence of payment advice
  • Customs Exit Note
  • Indemnity letter.

This may require other documents which dependent on the company’s mode of operation. However, the clearing firm is just an inch away from wrapping up the subject (RORO clearing procedure), in the process the shipment ‘Delivery Order’ (DO) will be issued the clearing firm, while further on this, it will be fair to effect the terminal delivery process (release).

As for the terminal delivery, the clearing may be required to pay the shipment storage and handling fees if not paid to the shipping company, but if already paid the clearing firm will be required to present the following documents in order to effect the ‘Terminal Delivery Order’ (TDO):

  • Original copy of the shipment Delivery Order
  • A copy of the house bill of lading
  • Evidence of payment advice
  • A copy of customs ‘Exit Note’
  • Indemnity letter.

In some case may include other documents, and if the requirements were met, the Terminal Delivery Order (TDO) will be issued accordingly including an ‘Authority to Load’ document (ATL) if the subject vehicle is to be loaded onto a truck. And that is it, there you have it. Congratulation.

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