Posted on August 6, 2009

Some freight forwarders have been asked by importers whether the China Import Service Fee is legal.  This fee arises because the shipper may ask for a form of ‘remuneration’ from the freight forwarder at the point of origin before they will give them the traffic.  When this happens, the importer ends up paying the freight costs and an additional service fee.  While this is not illegal, it does appear to go outside the terms of sale which have been agreed between exporter and importer, and buyers should try to find out why it is happening and if it can be avoided.

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