Forwarding Agency, Contract of

Forwarding Agency, Contract of


in civil law, an agreement in accordance with which one party (the forwarder) promises to dispatch or receive goods belonging to another party (the client) and to perform related operations. The forwarder performs these services at the client’s expense and in either his own or the client’s name. The client agrees in the contract of forwarding agency to deliver the goods for dispatch, receive the goods at the other end, and pay the forwarder for his services.

Forwarding agency involves primarily transporting goods by motor vehicle, but it also includes operations of a physical nature (such as packing, loading, unloading, labeling, and storing goods) and operations of a legal nature (such as drawing up documents of transport, receipt, and delivery, working out freightage calculations with other transportation enterprises, informing clients of the arrival or shipment of their goods, and handling customs). Communications organizations may also perform some of the same services—in particular, the delivery of goods by post.

In the USSR, the conditions of a contract of forwarding agency are regulated by the general norms concerning liabilities in the Basic Principles of Civil Legislation of the USSR and the Union republics and the civil codes of the Union republics, by special sections of the civil codes of the Kazakh, Uzbek, Moldavian, and Azerbaijan SSR’s, and also by such legal acts as transportation codes, rules, and regulations (including the Communications Rules of the USSR). The services of the forwarder are remunerated in the amount established by the applicable tariffs; where no such tariffs exist, the amount of the payment is decided by agreement between the parties.

In some socialist countries, such as the Polish People’s Republic, contracts of forwarding agency are regulated in much the same way as in the USSR. In other socialist countries, such as the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, the contract is treated as a commission contract (seeCOMMISSION).

Forwarding is dealt with in various ways by the legislation of the capitalist states. The types of contracts employed include commission contracts (as in France), agency contracts (as in Italy), and contracts of carriage (as in Spain and most of the Latin American countries). In the Federal Republic of Germany independent contracts of forwarding agency are used, and in the countries with common law, forwarding is regulated by contracts of agency.