A Power of Attorney (POA) in shipping and logistics is a legal document that authorizes a third party, such as a customs broker or logistics firm, to act on behalf of an importer or exporter in customs matters. The POA serves as a formal record of the authorizing party’s intent to delegate customs-related affairs and clarifies the scope of authority granted to the agent.
In the United States, CBP Form 5291 is the standardized POA form used for this purpose, and it’s essential for streamlining the customs clearance process. This form requires the authorizing party’s name, entity type, designated agents, scope of authorization, and signature. IRS or importer ID numbers are also commonly included.
In the case of international companies, especially European, exporting to the U.S., an additional signature from another company officer as a witness may be required. POA requirements vary globally, with each country having its own laws and regulations.