In order to perform these operations and a set of measures efficiently, many shipowners resort to the services of marine agents.
The marine agent is the proxy of the shipowner, who carries out his instructions and is his representative. If disagreement prevails between the parties, the opinion of the captain is preferred, since the agent acts only as a proxy. But it is worth noting that the captain is obliged to take into account the opinion of the marine agent due to the fact that he is aware of local rules, has extensive experience in resolving issues, for example, of a commercial type, etc.
Maritime agent and his authority
When agency service of sea vessels, the agent has the following responsibilities:
- all formalities and requirements that are associated with the entry and exit of the vessel from the port are fulfilled, these include operations in the form of: customs and sanitary inspections, standard fees, receipt of various documentation, etc. ;
- assists in organizational and production cargo operations;
- informs the shipowner on a regular basis about the arrival of the vessel, as well as reports on the implementation of cargo and additional operations, and other significant points that are associated with the berths and shipments of ships, the amount of goods on board;
- makes payment of established fees and expenses related to the vessel;
- introduces the rules, binding regulations and other information data;
- engaged in the preparation and execution of documentation;
- participates in emergency investigations, fills in various acts that are directly related to accidents, examinations, inspections;
- Fulfills separate orders of the captain and shipowner.
Often, agent companies do not provide a complete list of such services for maritime agency services. The quality of ship agency services in ports is largely determined by the correct actions of the captain.
The agent must be notified in advance of such moments as :
- estimated time of arrival of the vessel;
- the need to supply the vessel with resources such as fuel, products, materials.
By categories of marine agents can be divided into:
- The ship agent is the representative of the ship owner who acts on his behalf. The duties of this agent are to cooperate with tramp vessels, and to carry out operations aimed at handling general cargo. Tramp vessels are cargo type vessels transporting various bulk cargoes in different directions on an irregular basis, without a specific schedule. Under the concept of general cargo are boxed and piece-type cargoes, which are transported in bulk.
- The line agent is empowered with such powers as towing goods on lines, resolving freight forwarding issues, claims for consignments, container repair work, etc. Stevedors are also appointed and recommended as linear agents.
- The general agent is entrusted with the ship agency process at several regional ports, in accordance with the shipowner's agreement. Such an agent performs the necessary tasks through subagents in the ports, in accordance with the concluded agreements or through branch offices.
- Protecting agent acts as a contractual agent of the shipowner in a particular port. As a rule, it is his duty to assist the captain.
- The forwarding agent consults on the issues of which vehicle should be preferred during transportation. Provides advice on the most appropriate types of packaging, informs about the customs clearance procedure, taking into account insurance premiums, all technical aspects of international forwarding.
Agency Agreements: Varieties
The ship agency agreement in Odessa in the field of merchant shipping is called an agency agreement.
The following varieties exist :
- port agency agreements for the use of tramp vessels;
- general agency. The agent has a number of obligations in the form of serving issues, cargo, passengers, collection operations, towing cargo, etc.
- a line agency agreement is signed between the line shipowners and the line agents.
What tasks are solved with the help of ship agency
Upon agreement on the agency of the vessel, the agent is entrusted with escorting the vessel from the moment the vessel enters the port until the time of departure. Also, the agent draws up and maintains various documents, is engaged in the implementation of the necessary operations.
Starting from paperwork on the possibility of obtaining a berth space to solving the issues of posting and marking the vessel. Established relationships between the agent and the local authorities provide an opportunity for easier relations with the local leadership, whose authority includes making decisions about the location of the vessel in the port.
Ship supply means the possibility to agree on fuel supplies, repair details and necessary supplies. The agent is also responsible for providing food and other necessary supplies on board the vessel.
The agent also protects the interests of the vessel during customs control, and establishes a relationship with the city administration. Agent's responsibilities include cargo clearance.
Agents representatives produce documents for goods, provide assistance in customs clearance and forwarding.