General sales conditions

ACA CUSTOMS NV always acts as forwarding agent and all its activities are exclusively subject to the General Conditions of the Belgian Forwarding Agents (2005). We particularly refer to the following articles :


The Forwarder undertakes a contractual obligation relating to means, not results.  He only answers for errors or omissions made by himself or his staff. He is not liable for acts of third parties. Nevertheless the indemnity for damages occasioned by his errors and omissions for which he may be liable is limited to _ 1,25 Per Kg with a maximum of _ 1.240,00 per consignment. The principal can nevertheless, apart from the insurance possibilities offered under Art. 34, make a specific agreement with the Forwarder as to special responsibility, against an adequate remuneration.


Unless there has been specific agreement to the contrary, the Forwarder is always authorised to charge contract prices for his disbursements, expenses, care and intervention. This way of invoicing does not in any way alter the character of the Forwarder’s agreement as one of Agency (Commission) but exonerates the Forwarder from any obligation to render account of his expenses and disbursements. In the absence of previously agreed tariffs, only the total amount charged can be subject to discussion, and only if the principal proved that this amount is out of all proportion to the services performed. The principal undertakes to check immediately the invoices sent to him and explicitly renounce any right of complaint in connection with expenses or prices charged, if complaint is not made to the Forwarder within eight days following receipt of the invoice, statement of expenses, etc in the case where the principal has given instructions for the collection of the forwarding charges from a third party, he nevertheless guarantees their payment to the Forwarder.


The Forwarder is never obliged to advance funds for freight, customs duties, VAT, postage or other costs. He will claim, at his choice, either an appropiate provision or a commission for advance of funds when he consents to make this advance.  The commission is due from the day of disbursement.


Invoices of the Forwarder are payable immediately and cash without discount, and payments may under no circumstances be subordinated to particular circumstances or to the good execution of the operation charged in account or of others. Any complaints in connection with Forwarders’ invoices must be rendered within eight days. Except in cases of double invoicing or the wrong addressing of an invoice, discussions about the invoice can never exonerate the debtor from payment and can lead to reimbursement, if any, only after prior payment. In the absence of any contrary agreement, the place of settlement and of payment is there where the Forwarder is established.  The handing over of bills of exchange or the cession of the action of debt does not give a new character to the principal’s debt to the Forwarder.


The risk of changes in exchange rates or in the value attributed by law to the Euro is for account of the principal.  Prices and quotations are automatically subject to readjustment, in case of any change of same.


The sending of an invoice has to be considered as a summons to pay its amount. In case of delay in the settlement of the invoice, the Forwarder is entitled to claim a yearly interest of 6% more than the discount rate of the National Bank of Belgium from the invoice date, every month commenced counting for a full month without his being obliged to send a new summons to his principal.


If within the period of 15 days dating from the despatch by post of a summons by registered letter the debtor has not paid, the amount of the debt will, in addition to the interests stipulated in Art. 42 automatically be increased by : _ 40,00 for debits up to _ 375,00, _ 75,00 for debits from _ 375,01 up to _ 750,00, _ 125,00 for debits from _ 750,01 up to _ 1.250,00, _ 250,00 for debits from _ 1.250,01 up to _ 2.500,00, _ 500,00 for debits from _ 2.500,01 up to _ 7.500,00, _ 750,00 for debits amounting more than _ 7.500,00, as contractual and irreducible damages for supplementary administration expenses, survey of debtors and commercial perturbations.


The principal’s various debts towards the Forwarder, even if relative to various shipments and to goods which are no more in his possession, constitue a single and indivisible debt, to which amount the Forwarder can exercise all rights, privileges and recourses that are acknowledged to him by the law and the present conditions.


On top of what is said in Art. 44, the parties explicitely agree by the present conditions, that all property, documents, or cash money, which since the date of the first order enter fictitiously or actually into the possession of the Forwarder, will serve as pledge for the payment of amounts due to him from his principal or from the owner of the goods. This pledge is ruled by the regulations on commercial pledges.  The Forwarder will dispose of this guarantee, whatever the juridical quality in which he executes his operations.


In order to guarantee the exercise of his rights and privileges in respect of claims he can rightfully make against one of the parties interested in the transport or the warehousing, in connection with current or previous operations, the Forwarder is entitled to retain all goods which are handed over to him for shipment, haulage, reception, customs clearance or warehousing, as well as those handed over to him for delivery to his principal.  Furthermore, to safeguard the exercice of his privilege and rights or retention, he is authorised to refuse the delivery of a warehouse certificate.


Apart from the prescription provided in Art. 48, no complaint is admissible if, at the reception of the goods, the consignee has not made reserves in due form against the last carrier, if he has not proceeded to a Survey by a properly qualified person and if he has not immediately formulated his reserves towards the Forwarder.


The principal who intends to exercise a jurisdictional recourse against the Forwarder must, on pain of forfaiture, bring his lawsuit against him within six months. This period starts from the end of the mission or in case of disagreement on this subject, from the date on which the final invoice was sent. If the grounds of the dispute are only known later, the lawsuit must in any case be brought within six months of the delivery of the goods failing which the rights of the claimant shall be forfeited.  This reduced delay of prescription constitues an essential clause of the agreement between the principal and the Forwarder, in such a way that, if the principal has not acted within the fixed delay, the Forwarder will find himself definitely relieved of all responsibility.


Any disputes which may arise between the parties with regard to the execution of the contract are settled by three arbitrators, two of whom are appointed by either party, the third being appointed by the two previously appointed arbitrators, before being informed of the nature of the dispute to be settled. If no agreement can be reached, the appointment of the third arbitrator will be entrusted to the President of the Court of Commerce of the place where the registered office of the Forwarder is established. Nevertheless, only the Forwarder is always authorised to bring the issue before the "ratione loci" competent Court.