What is direct representation?

What is direct representation?

Direct representation is a concept in the world of customs and international trade. It refers to the situation where a customs broker or representative acts on behalf of a client (importer or exporter) but under that client's name. This means that the client is ultimately legally responsible for the customs declaration and customs compliance.

By using a direct representative, a company can efficiently navigate complex customs processes, benefiting from the representative's expertise while still maintaining full control.

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Direct and indirect representation

There are two forms of representation within the customs and logistics sector: direct and indirect representation.


Direct representation

In the case of direct representation, the representative acts on behalf of the client, but the client remains legally liable. This means that if something goes wrong with the customs declaration, such as an error or negligence, the client is financially and legally responsible. Here, the representative acts only as an intermediary who implements the operation on behalf of the client.


Indirect representation

In indirect representation, the representative acts on behalf of a company and under his own name. The important difference here is that the representative assumes legal liability. This can protect companies from risk, but can also be more costly.

Frequently asked questions about direct representation

    Can any freight forwarder act as a direct representative?

    It varies from country to country, but in many cases a freight forwarder must have specific licenses to act as a direct representative.

    Why should I consider direct representation?

    Direct representation can help make the customs process more efficient and smooth, especially if you import or export a lot. It allows you to benefit from the knowledge of experts while maintaining control.

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