Criteria for Certification of ASBA Ship Agent Members

In 2005, ASBA Agent Members implemented our “Guidelines for Certification” to raise the bar for ship agency providers in the U.S.  In October of 2008, the Federation of National Associations of Ship Brokers and Agents (FONASBA) approved their Quality Standard that was modeled after ASBA’s Certification Guidelines.  Upon completion of their certification, ASBA ship agency company members are awarded the “ASBA Certification” and the “FONASBA Quality Standard”.   We are also delighted to announce that the major owner associations;  BIMCO, INTERTANKO and INTERCARGO have endorsed the FONASBA Quality Standard.

Proposed agent members have up to six months to submit all components of the Certification following approval:

  • CPA “Procedural” Review – we do not need or want Company Financials
  • Certificates of Insurance
  • Boarding Agents and their direct Managers must successfully complete the ASBA Entry Level Agent Exam
  • Certification of a company in good standing from the State of Incorporation

It is indeed worth your time and energy to become a “ASBA Certified Agency Company”.

Criteria for Certification of ASBA Ship Agent Members

Section 1. All Ship Agent Members (“Ship Agents”) must abide by the ASBA Code of Ethics.

Section 2. All Ship Agents must comply with the following standards of Financial Responsibility.

  • Retain an external CPA for issuance of an “Agreed Upon Procedure Report” submitted to ASBA annually.
  • The following procedures, based on random sampling, must be attested to:
    • Amounts due from/to principals in company’s general ledger are supported by detailed accounting and reporting for principals which agrees in total to the general ledger.
    • Detailed accounting/reporting for principals includes a listing of cash receipts and disbursements (by invoice) for sample voyages with total amounts due to/from the principal for each selected voyage and in total at end of reporting period.
    • Maintain separate files for principals to include supporting documentation.
    • All transactions for principals must be supported by invoices and/or receipts.
  • Certification by Ship Agent’s management that undisputed accounts are settled in accordance to agent’s agreement with principals and vendors.
  • Ship Agents must demonstrate adequate insurance coverage, submit proof annually and name ASBA as a notify party.
    • Automobile Coverage (owned and non-owned vehicles)
    • Workmen’s Compensation for USL&H as required.
    • Liability Coverage – minimum of 1 million dollars per event.
    • Errors & Omissions Coverage – minimum of 1 million dollars aggregated for the policy year.
    • Company in good standing as certified annually by the Secretary of the State in which the Ship Agent is incorporated.

Section 3. Industry Experience

  • At least one year in the business.

Section 4. Each Ship Agent must ensure that its Employees are Trained and Professional

  • Ship Agents must provide on the job training or participate in member or ASBA provided training seminars.
  • Ship Agents must successfully complete the ASBA Ship Agent Exam.

Section 5. In consideration of being ASBA-certified, Ship Agent Members agree:

  • that the ASBA Ethics & Grievance Committee will be the governing body to consider complaints or other issues raised by their principals regarding noncompliance (provided such complaints or issues are brought within 1 year from the date that the conduct complained about occurred or became known or should have become know to the complainant)
  • to abide by the rulings of the Committee
  • Ship Agent Members deemed by the ASBA Ethics & Grievance Committee to be acting in noncompliance shall be subject to a formal reprimand and/or suspension or expulsion from membership.

As a trade association, ASBA assumes no responsibility for the acts or omissions of any of its members, including but not limited to, claims, demands or causes of actions arising out of the certification of ASBA’s agency members.

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