Case about a reader allegedly being held to ransom by destination agent of NVOCC operator..
Hello readers, any thoughts or suggestions to help out one of the readers Sunil who has a problem/question as below..
What recourse should Sunil take..??
I have serious questions about the legal relationship between the Carrier (Liner), MBL holder (Master Bill of Lading ) , HBL Holder (House Bill of Lading holder issued by MBL holder), and ultimate consignee as seen on HBL.
I am the consignee of HBL and face the practical problem in India, where Forwarder in United States or China collude with the Destination Agent in India to extract exorbitant charges towards DO oir Delivery Order charges.
I arranged for a shipment from China and carrier was *** NAME OF NVOCC OPERATOR WITHHELD***. They issued a MBL to their Shipping Agent mentioning destination agent as consignee. In HBL issued by the forwarder, the ultimate consignee was us. However, destination agent was same as in MBL.
The Destination Agent billed heavily towards Destination DO charges, claiming Rs 41,000 ($700) for a small LCL Shipment of just 4 cbm/260 kgs which was just 4% of full FCL by volume or 1% by weight. The CIF Value of the machine was $ 1,137 (Rs 66,600) .
In short, the Destination Agent billed almost 61% of CIF Value as their charges just to issue Delivery Order.
Now, when Destination Agent does not issue DO, we can not present the shipment to customs, and we go on incurring Demurrage charges.
Since we are the True, Legal and rightful owner of the Shipment, the Liner (Carrier) is legally required to deliver the cargo/property to the True and Rightful owner, that is, we as consignee.
The Carrier contends that they have no direct relationship with the Consignee as per HBL and they owe the liability only to MBL Consignee (who is not legal owner of the cargo or goods because it was bought by us against payment).
We want to claim the cargo from the Carrier whose agent the MBL holder issued the HBL. The actions of the agents are binding on the Principal (Carrier) and in fact, the forwarder has issued the HBL as Agent for the Carrier.
The normal charges are about $125 or about against which the Destination Agent is charging us $700. They may claim even $1 Millions which we are not supposed to pay.
We have claimed the Cargo from the carrier under HBL issued by the Forwarder as Agent for the Carrier. So far, there is no reply. Our goods are incurring the demurrages. we are prepared to pay normal charges to the carrier as per their normal scale.
If the Carrier does not oblige us, we want to Sue the Carrier for “Default on Delivery under Freight Prepaid Bill of Lading” and inform all shipping companies around the world to bring moral pressure. We can not allow ourselves to be blackmailed, and cheated by the Destination Agent.
Are there any innovative thoughts to claim our goods under Freight Prepaid Bill of Lading without becoming victim of blackmail of the destination agent?