MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has issued a warning to freight forwarding companies allegedly collecting excessive charges for their services, including port congestion surcharge amid improving situation and utilization at the ports.
In a statement over the weekend, DTI said it has received reports that certain freight forwarding companies have been collecting fees for new items of services and overcharging freight forwarding rates to the detriment of the exporters, importers, and shippers.
Additional fees that are being collected include emergency import surcharge, system charge, emergency bunker surcharge, E2M fee, agency fee, deconsolidation fee, origin handling charge, container imbalance charge, emergency cost recovery surcharge, port congestion surcharge, and destination delivery charges.
“These excessive freight forwarding charges can result in high shipping costs that affect the export and import costs of Philippine products. Obviously, any upward adjustment in the freight forwarding charge will eventually be borne by the consumers,” DTI Undersecretary Victorio Dimagiba said.
DTI said the standard charges that could only be collected by freight forwarders are the less-container-load and terminal handling charge, documentation, handling, bill of landing, collect, and turn-over fee, currency adjustment factor and value-added tax.
As such, the DTI has warned accredited sea freight forwarding companies to collect fees in accordance with the prescribed charges of the government.
The Trade department is also urging shippers and importers to pay only for the standard charges.
Dimagiba said freight forwarding companies found to be overcharging and collecting fees not prescribed by the DTI are facing a fine of up to P200,000 and revocation of accreditation certificate on the third offense.