According to the Club, one of the main objectives is the protection of your business from non-payment for services or ensure that the customer you are acting on behalf of is legitimate.

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In order to achieve these things, all stakeholders should implement procedures identifying the initial evaluation steps, how the supplier will be approved and what ongoing and periodic monitoring is need to make sure that the expected performance is maintained.

Essentially a risk assessment should be performed for each service provider and it has to include the following items:

  • The activity you wish them to undertake and whether that is or may be business critical;
  • The potential financial, operational and reputational risks their failure poses to your business;
  • The values of any cargo you are entrusting them to carry;
  • The terms and conditions they trade under, including evaluation of exclusions and limitations;
  • Their competence to perform the activity – consideration of training records, particularly for regulated activities such as handling dangerous goods.

Continuing, in order to  perform efficiently a due diligence, the following check list should be considered:

Identity

Identify the service provider, including full registered address, details of the Directors and contact details. Moreover, establish the nature of the ownership of their business and in which country they are domiciled. You should also check items such as their VAT number.

Integrity

Commercial checks can also be considered. The use of a credit rating agency is also suggested to perform independent verification of the businesses financial standing.

Competence

The ability to provide the services you require is an obvious practical check, but it can be overlooked. Stakeholders should make sure that the service provider can meet your expectations.