All information should be taken as guide lines and were correct at time of writing, you must carry out your own checks as to the accuracy of the information contained herein.

Insurance: are you adequately insured?

Many shippers are inadequately insured wrongly assuming that in the event of a claim the carrier whether that be a haulier, shipping line, airline or Cargotech will settle all claims in full.

Unfortunately shippers do find that they are under insured when it’s too late.

Cargotech or your broker can arrange insurance but we will only insure when instructed to do so, otherwise all business is undertaken in accordance with our terms of trading or that of the bill of landing/air waybill.

To ensure that you will not suffer financially ensure that you understand the relevant terms of trading and then take our the necessary insurance cover – preferably all risks. Make sure that the consignment is adequately packed , the weight and description are declared correctly otherwise any claim may be refused.

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Insurance: do you have sufficient insurance?

Any payment will be measured in SDRs (Special Drawing Rights). The value of any SDR varies daily and can be found in the Financial Times or Lloyds List.

If you do not have all risks insurance then you will almost certainly be under insured.

You may ask why you have to insure goods  - surely they are in safe hands ?

Well, yes they are but in a normal movement an average of ten different companies, authorities and people can be involved. This in itself does present a risk of loss or damage as does shipping goes across several thousand miles or loading and unloading from aircraft or vessels.

Insuring your goods also gives you peace of mind that in the event of loss or damage you will not lose out financially. After all, you insure your home and contents without really thinking about it but the majority of people don’t even think about insuring goods with similar or higher values wrongly assuming the airline or shipping line will cover any loss or damage.

All claims will be limited under the relevant terms so it is important that you are fully insured preferably with all risks marine insurance, please ask your independent broker for further details.

It is also important to understand what you can claim for as this is often misunderstood.

You cannot claim for

  • Consequential loss or loss of profits/business.
  • Consequences of delay, change of routing or deviation.
  • Unless agreed in writing you cannot claim for delays.

Your claim may be refused if

  • The consignment has not been adequately packed.
  • Is described as something different to the actual contents.
  • The weight and/or cube has been misdeclared.
  • A clean delivery receipt has been obtained.
  • Where loss or damage is caused by Force Majeure (strike, lockout, stoppage or any other cause or matter, the consequence if which Cargotech is unable to avoid by the exercise of reasonable diligence.)

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Insurance: am I responsible for insurance?

I’m The Supplier

CIF - You must insure up to arrival at the named destination
C&F - There is no requirement for insurance but you are responsible for the goods up to arrival at the named destination.
FOB - You must insure up to the ships rail/aircraft side at the port of departure after which the consignee takes on responsibility for insurance.
Ex Works - It is the buyers responsibility to insure from your factory

I’m A Buyer

CIF - The shipper must insure up to arrival at the named destination
C&F - There is no requirement for insurance but you are responsible for the goods up to arrival at the named destination.
FOB - You must insure up to the ships rail/aircraft side at the port of departure after which the consignee takes on responsibility for insurance.
Ex Works - It is the buyers responsibility to insure from your factory

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Hazardous goods

Regulations for the carriage of hazardous cargo are very strict and many shippers are not fully aware of what there responsibilities are.

Air freight has always been more stringent that sea or road freight and this is still very true. Hazardous cargo for air freight must be packaged in approved packaging and both the packaging and documentation must go through a thorough check prior to acceptance by the airline.

In addition, many substances may only be shipped in limited quantities or not at all by air freight.

For advice on the carriage of hazardous goods by air freight contact Cargotech.

Everybody involved with the carriage of hazardous cargo by road, rail or inland waterway to have a qualified Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor (DGSA). Many shippers do not have a DGSA appointed and in not doing so are risking heavy fines.
With all hazardous consignments you must provide the necessary documentation.

Trem cards must be provided, in the language of every country being crossed and Material Safety Data Sheets should also be provided.

This is in addition to the Dangerous Goods Notes which must accompany every consignment.


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Customs information

Letters Of Credit

An irrevocable letter of credit, confirmed on a UK bank is the safest way to guarantee the payment of your goods by what may be a one off overseas client. They can also be used to pay overseas supplies ensuring that you receive your goods prior to releasing a substantial amount of money.

If a letter of credit is to be used it is very important that your client is given a full copy of the terms of the letter of credit. If these are not followed, to the letter, you or your supplier could be heading for trouble.
In drawing up the letter of credit think carefully about the routing, payment terms whether it be on receipt of the goods at your premises, 30 days after receipt of the goods or on arrival at the port.

The bank will retain the funds until the terms of the letter of credit have been fulfilled. If any of the documentation is wrong, you do not have delivery receipts or the consignment is delayed you may well have problems in obtaining your money.

Talk to your bank about letters of credit. Our advice is free and we can ensure that everything will run smoothly thus ensuring you receive your goods or your money.

Temporary Imports

Consignments being imported into the UK on a temporary basis can be entered free of duty and VAT.

If the goods are being brought into the country for repair and return the procedure is very simple. The goods will remain under customs control and when exported H.M. Customs must be notified at the port of export by using a special declaration.

If the value of the goods will increase then the procedure is slightly different and you will have to pay duty and VAT.

If you are unsure whether they will remain in the UK or not or you do not know how long they will remain then any duty/VAT can be paid on deposit. You will then have two years to re-export the goods and receive a full refund. You must notify H.M. Customs at the port of departure by using a special declaration and then the duty is refunded to you. After two years no refund will be payable.

Check with Cargotech if you have or expect to have temporary imports.

Temporary Exports

Where goods are to be exported to a country on a temporary basis, most countries operate schemes whereby taxes can be paid on deposit pending the subsequent re-exportation. However many countries can take many weeks, if not months, to refund any money.

In many countries the consignee has to pay any import taxes so ensure that this is agreed beforehand. If you are paying then ensure the money is available quickly and that your consignee will assist as they will probably have to be shown as the importer.

It is important that paperwork is completed correctly when exported otherwise delays may be experienced clearing customs on return to the UK. The export paperwork must match exactly with the import paperwork otherwise duties will have to be paid on return into the UK. If you do not have or cannot provide evidence of export which must be by a waybill/bill of lading and/or invoice then you will have to pay full duty and VAT.

An alternative and quicker method is to obtain a Carnet prior to export. The benefits of a carnet are quick and easy clearance but this does come at a cost.

A Carnet is issued by the Chamber of Commerce and you will have to pay a deposit based on the value of the goods—this deposit could be up to 50% of the value.

However provided the carnet is presented correctly to the relevant customs authorities you will normally receive the deposit back within a matter of weeks.

It is very important that the carnet is present to all the customs authorities on the prescribed route.

A voucher for each border crossing is attached to the carnet and every voucher must be stamped by the relevant authority. If it is not stamped you will almost certainly loose your deposit.

Carnets can be used to many countries and are ideally suited for exhibitions and professional tools on short trips overseas.

One very important point with carnets is that the packing list must detail EVERY item being exported and EVERY item must accompany the carnet. At every customs border the carnet list must match the contents of the vehicle/crate.

ATA Carnets can be issued to the following countries:

Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Gibralter, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia., Turkey, U.S.A.

Correct at time of publishing and subject to change.

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Consular documentation

There still remain several countries that require consular documentation and certificates of origin.

The procedure is relatively simple and usually takes approximately fourteen days to complete. An invoice and certificate of origin will be lodged with the appropriate embassy and provided they are satisfied with the invoice it will be legalised and the certificate of origin stamped.

These are then returned to the shipper so that they may be forwarded to the consignee.

Under normal circumstances goods can be shipped provided the invoices and certificate of origin have been sent to the embassy but the consignee may have to provide a bond to the customs authorities in the destination country in order that he can obtain his cargo.

Countries that require consular documentation

Cote D’Ivoire
Czech Republic
Dominican Republic
Guatemala *
Iran **
Iraq **
Lebanon **
Morocco *
Qatar **
Saudi Arabia
Syria **
Togo *
Turkey **
United Arab Emirates

* Required subject to contract  ** Required in certain circumstances

Information correct at the time of printing—check with individual consular’s or embassies for all the latest information

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