Finally someone is listening!
SILA via its membership to FTA is a working hard to have this issue brought to the attention of the relevant authorities. We have been advocating action via FTA to champion this issue and are very pleased to see the below released to the market today. Australian C&F importers have been getting ripped off for many years. As your supplier you will recall the numerous amounts of time we have brought this to your attention.
We will support our customers efforts via a liaison desk should you want to explore actions you can take. The below article we believe is now the beginning and that a further look into the FCL local charges of Forwarders is also needed. There are many charges listed on invoices for services not performed, and charge items not incurred.
We look forward to discussing this with you and working with you to minimise logistics costs, especially where suppliers refuse to sell on a FOB or Ex Works basis for FCL or LCL cargo.
FTA: “KEEPING AUSTRALIA’S INTERNATIONAL TRADE MOVING”
WARNING: SURGE IN LCL RIP-OFFS
Freight & Trade Alliance (FTA) and the Australian Peak Shippers Association (APSA) continue to receive correspondence from forwarders and cargo owners with evidence of potentially false and misleading fees purportedly relating to local port charges on LCL freight.
• Invoicing for an “infrastructure levy” for freight moving through Adelaide, where there is no infrastructure levy in place and where DPWA and Patricks do not have stevedoring operations
• Charging an import processing fee where the local agent is not performing or are not contracted to perform the import clearance
• Charging a currency adjustment factor where the freight is prepaid and therefore no CAF applies
Many of the examples presented to FTA/APSA originated where an overseas agent controls a freight prepaid consignment.
Protections from misleading conduct are clearly set out under 18(1) of Australian Consumer Law: “A person must not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive.” Falsely claiming that a disbursement has been incurred and seeking payment from an Australian consignee will be misleading.
For more information please revisit Hunt & Hunt’s CPD presentation Australian Consumer Law – customs brokers & freight forwarders Stream B – 4 CPD points – FTA03.
Investigations of Misleading and Deceptive Conduct are routinely investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) but offending companies may also be subject to civil claims where loss has been suffered.
FTA/APSA members can access further advice on this by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Travis Brooks-Garrett- FTA/APSA
SILA Customer teamtop