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paid services by one person (corporate entity individual), called the agent, upon the assignment of another person, called the principal, on the latter’s behalf, at his expense, and in his interests. The nature, volume, mode, and conditions of agenting are stipulated in the contract between the principal and the agent. Agenting may cover different spheres of activity. Thus, in trade agenting, the agent is in charge of the purchase and sale of goods in set amounts, at stipulated prices, in an established area, and at a certain time.
Agenting is most frequent in navigation, where it refers to the servicing of ships in ports. The agent, acting on behalf of a shipowner, takes care of the customs, sanitation, quarantine, and other port formalities connected with a ship’s entry into port and with loading operations. He hires the pilot and the tugboats to conduct the ship, assists in the speediest loading and unloading of the ship, and organizes the provisioning of the ship with fuel, materials, water, and food. The agent draws up transportation and other documents required of ships (bills of lading, manifest, time sheets, and charters) and informs the shipowner of the arrival and departure of ships, of the state of loading and unloading operations, and of customs, fees, rules, and other mandatory ordinances effective in a particular port. He may also fulfill other assignments of the shipowner or captain. The shipowner compensates the navigation agent for the expenses incurred in paying port fees, in servicing the ship, and in supplying it. The remuneration of the agent is separate from the above. It is usually computed according to rates determined by the tonnage of the ship and the length of its stay in port. Navigation agenting is a separate form of economic activity. It arises from the desire of shipowners to reduce to a minimum the stay of ships in ports, to increase their turnover, and to make the operation as effective as possible.
G. E. BRUKHIS