Minimum Qualification Standard

Recommended Minimum Qualification Standard for Freight Forwarders

Date of issue: June 11, 2005

Article 1

The objectives of these standards are to:
a. Uphold a high standard of business ethics and professional conduct among freight forwarders;
b. Promote a high level of professional education and experience, essential to provide services;
c. Encourage operation of financially sound and stable freight forwarders;
d. Contribute to combating fraud by ensuring improved services by better qualified freight forwarders, and
e. Provide guidelines to PIFFA in establishing and maintaining a freight forwarding system.

Article 2

For the purpose of these standards:
"Freight forwarder" is one who undertakes forwarding of goods on behalf of his customer, including if necessary, procurement and coordination of one or more modes of transport. He may also undertake to perform more modes of transport. He may also undertake to perform other functions connected with the main contract such as warehousing (including storage in transit) groupage or consolidation, packing, documentation, weighing and measurement of cargo container leasing, insurance, foreign exchange transaction etc.

Article 3

Minimum staff requirements and professional qualifications
To be considered professionally qualified the freight forwarder must:
Employ two full-time competent persons qualified in the services and handling functions described in Article 5;
Two such persons should have completed PIFFA approved freight-forwarding certified course or hold IATA or FIATA Introductory Course Diploma or equivalent, and One of these persons shall have completed a PIFFA approved training course in the handling of dangerous goods where such cargo is handled.

Article 4

Commercial Presence
The freight forwarder shall:
Maintain and operate at least one office, and
Have adequate insurance to cover its liability for loss of or damage to exporter / importer’s cargo.

Article 5
Processing and Handling

The freight forwarder shall maintain and offer the public the premises, staff and equipment necessary for the performance of the following function as a minimum: Quoting freight charges, rates and conditions pertaining to such rates and charges; Required transport documentation of cargo; Assisting customers in completing the required formalities for the transportation of cargo including reservation services, and Assisting customers in tracking of the cargo.

Article 6
Financial Qualification

To be considered financially sound a corporate entity and where relevant the freight forwarder individually must: Have financial resources adequate to its business evidenced by references from sources such as banks, financial institutes, auditors, crédito urgente companies etc., and Have adequate liability insurance through an internationally recognized insurance company or mutual club to cover all professional liabilities.
The Freight Forwarder shall ensure that the above financial standards are maintained.

Article 7
Code of Professional Conduct

Member shall, at all times, abide by the Code of Conduct adopted by the PIFFA.

Article 8

Where a complaint is received involving a significant infringement of these Standards the PIFFA will have the complaint investigated, within a reasonable time, and in case of the complaint being proved it may take disciplinary measures against the Member concerned, which may include:
a. Warnings
b. A requirement for undertakings as to the Freight Forwarders future conduct.
c. Temporary suspension of membership of the PIFFA, and
d. Expulsion of member from the PIFFA.

The Member against whom the complaint is lodged will be expected to extend full cooperation and assistance to the investigation to arrive at a fair conclusion.

Article 9

Recommended Minimum Qualification Standard is applicable for Freight forwarder already in operation and those just starting a new business, who do not meet the forgoing standards should be given reasonable time to conform to the requirement.