The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently issued an advisory to shippers and importers to pay only the standard and legally-prescribed fees to freight forwarding companies handling their cargo requirements.
Memorandum Circular No. 1, Series of 2005, issued by the then Philippine Shippers Bureau (PSB) of the DTI prescribes the standard charges that can only be collected by freight forwarders, namely: the Less-Container-Load (LCL) and Terminal Handling Charge, Documentation, Handling, Bill of Lading, Collect, and Turn-Over Fee, Currency Adjustment Factor (CAF), and Value Added Tax (VAT).
It has been reported that certain freight forwarding companies have been collecting fees for other items of services and overcharging freight forwarding rates to the detriment of exporters, importers, shippers, and their fellow freight forwarders.
Additional fees reportedly being collected include Emergency Import Surcharge (EIS), System Charge, Emergency Bunker Surcharge (EBS), E2M Fee, Agency Fee, Deconsolidation Fee, Origin Handling Charge, Container Imbalance Charge (CIC), Emergency Cost Recovery Surcharge (ECRS), Port Congestion Surcharge (PCS), and Destination Delivery Charges (DDC) which are not covered in the memorandum circular.
Excessive freight charges can result to high shipping costs that affect export and import costs of Philippine products, according to DTI Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba.”Obviously, any upward adjustment in the freight forwarding charge will eventually be borne by the consumers,” he added.
Pursuant to PSB Administrative Order No. 6, Series of 2005, freight forwarding companies found to be overcharging and collecting fees not prescribed by the DTI are liable to pay fines of up to P200,000.00 including revocation of accreditation certificate on the third offense.
Concerned shippers are advise to report cases of freight cost overcharging to the DTI-Consumer Protection Group at Tel. 51.3233 or DTI Direct 751.3330.
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