Shipping Terms Glossary

Shipping Terms Glossary
Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney

Power of attorney is a legal document that allows for the transfer of certain powers, such as decision making.

What is a Power of Attorney (POA)?

A legal document that allows for the transfer of certain powers, such as decision making. Power of Attorney can be used by Person A if they need Person B to make a decision on their behalf.

What is a Power of Attorney (POA) ?

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Power of Attorney

When do you need a Power of Attorney?

In shipping, Power of Attorney is used when an importer or an exporter appoints an agent to act on their behalf to handle parts of the shipment.


POA is commonly used during customs clearance - this refers to the authorization the importer or the exporter gives to the customs broker to process clearance on their behalf.

Is a Power of Attorney mandatory?

No. You only need a POA if you’re delegating the responsibility to another other party.


What should a Power of Attorney (POA) include?


1. The importers or exporter’s business name and address

2. The business IRS (Internal Revenue Service Number)

3. A declaration that the nominated agent can act on behalf of the importer or exporter

4. The witnessed signature of the importer or exporter

Who can sign a POA?


A POA must be signed by an officer of the company making the shipment.


🚨 Special Case

European Union (EU) businesses importing into the US are required to have a secondary witness signature from another person in the company.

Do you need a Power of Attorney for air or ocean freight?


POAs apply to both air and ocean freight shipments.

🚨 POA applies only to imports in the US and Netherlands.

How do you get a POA?

You can apply for a POA with the customs broker or your freight forwarder when onboarding.

How much does a POA cost?

It depends on your freight forwarder or customs broker. You can expect to pay less than $200 in most cases.


Rajitha Reniguntla

Rajitha Reniguntla is a supply chain enthusiast from Hong Kong. With a curious mind, she's an avid learner carrying a knack for exploring and breaking down complex ideas. She loves to learn about new things and always aims to enhance the customer experience. Outside of work, she enjoys cycling, doodling and listening to podcasts!

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