Three Signs you Might be Dealing with a Fraudulent Shipping Agent in Nigeria
Consignees across the world are always on the lookout for professional forwarding or logistics agents to handle their cargo from the place of origin to destination, under established terms of service. This service may also include end-to-end documentation, Customs Clearance at the port of destination, and delivery, involving the performance of the required regulatory procedures. Payment of the necessary trade tariffs, duties, and taxes based on the classification of goods in line with their actual value are also key components of services provided.
Bearing the foregoing background in mind, prospective consignees could then ask, how can I go about importing my goods without any room for error or incurring the unanticipated cost of shipping? While this is a very important question in relation to shipping your cargo, finding an agent is one of the most critical steps to take in achieving your aim. Anyways, this article is not about finding the right agent but identifying some important (out of many) attributes of fraudulent freight agents and they are as follows:
Non-Compliance: In Nigeria, importation of goods requires, certain basic documentation, such as Form-M, Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), and many others, depending on the items involved. Once an agent begins to suggest by-passing these basic documentation processes, that is a sign right there that you are most certainly dealing with a fraudulent agent.
Sudden Change of Bank Details: Every established shipping or forwarding agent is expected to have official account detail from the invoicing stage of every transaction. However, if a person or individuals suddenly starts pushing desperately for payments to be made to a new account, you are possibly dealing with scammers who may have hacked into the email trail on your transaction with the right agent. Once this is noticed, you must quickly commence further verification to authenticate the right agent or establish that you are dealing with a fraudster.
Ridiculously Low Pricing: In a bid to exploit you, a fraudulent agent can become desperate by offering prices that are far below the market average just to win you over. Once they succeed in winning you over, you are then exposed to all hidden charges. Apart from incurring unplanned costs, your shipment can be held back, causing undue delays that adversely affect service delivery to your own customers. Apart from this, if you fail to verify some of the charges presented, they can inflate the amount of duty payable and present a fake receipt reflecting the amount claimed. Again, this takes us back to due diligence. Always find a way to verify the cost you have been offered and obtain authentic industry-based information to determine average market prices.
The foregoing, constitute some of the many signs that suggest you are dealing with a fraudulent shipping agent in Nigeria. However, in the face of this damning reality, Fortune Global continues to invest in the advocacy for better regulations, stronger barriers against fraudulent agents, while remaining firmly committed to the cardinal principles of compliance and increased transparency.