H.C. Bennett Company Terms of Service

By using our Services, you are agreeing to these terms.

Web Site Terms and Conditions of Use

1. Terms

By accessing this web site, you are agreeing to be bound by these web site Terms and Conditions of Use, all applicable laws and regulations, and agree that you are responsible for compliance with any applicable local laws. If you do not agree with any of these terms, you are prohibited from using or accessing this site. The materials contained in this web site are protected by applicable copyright and trade mark law.

2. Disclaimer

The materials on H.C. Bennett Company's web site are provided "as is". H.C. Bennett Company makes no warranties, expressed or implied, and hereby disclaims and negates all other warranties, including without limitation, implied warranties or conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement of intellectual property or other violation of rights. Further, H.C. Bennett Company does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the use of the materials on its Internet web site or otherwise relating to such materials or on any sites linked to this site.

3. Limitations

In no event shall H.C. Bennett Company or its suppliers be liable for any damages (including, without limitation, damages for loss of data or profit, or due to business interruption,) arising out of the use or inability to use the materials on H.C. Bennett Company's Internet site, even if H.C. Bennett Company or a H.C. Bennett Company authorized representative has been notified orally or in writing of the possibility of such damage. Because some jurisdictions do not allow limitations on implied warranties, or limitations of liability for consequential or incidental damages, these limitations may not apply to you.

4. Revisions and Errata

The materials appearing on H.C. Bennett Company's web site could include technical, typographical, or photographic errors. H.C. Bennett Company does not warrant that any of the materials on its web site are accurate, complete, or current. H.C. Bennett Company may make changes to the materials contained on its web site at any time without notice. H.C. Bennett Company does not, however, make any commitment to update the materials.

5. Site Terms of Use Modifications

H.C. Bennett Company may revise these terms of use for its web site at any time without notice. By using this web site you are agreeing to be bound by the then current version of these Terms and Conditions of Use.

6. Governing Law

Any claim relating to H.C. Bennett Company's web site shall be governed by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania without regard to its conflict of law provisions.

Forwarder Terms of Service


(Please Read Carefully)

The term “HCB” or “Company” as used herein will refer to H.C. Bennett Company, a Maryland corporation, and export documentation and shipping consultant.  The term “Customer,” as used herein will refer to and include the exporter, USPPI, sender, consignor, transferor of the shipments handled by HCB.

1. Service by Third Parties. Unless HCB physically handles the shipment, and loss, damage, expense or delay occurs during such activity, HCB assumes no liability as a carrier and is not to be held responsible for any loss, damage, expense or delay to the goods to be forwarded or imported except as provided in paragraph 8 and subject to the limitations of paragraph 9 below.  HCB undertakes only to use reasonable care in the selection of carriers, truckmen, lightermen, forwarders, customs brokers, agents, warehousemen and others to whom it may entrust the goods for transportation, cartage, handling and /or delivery and /or storage or otherwise. When HCB physically handles the shipment, it does so subject to the limitations of paragraph 8 below, unless a separate bill of lading or other contract of carriage is issued by HCB, in which event the terms thereof shall govern.

2. Liability Limitations of Third Parties HCB is authorized to select and engage carriers, truckmen, lightermen, forwarders, customs brokers, agents warehousemen and others, as required, to transport the shipment, deal with and deliver the goods, all of whom shall be considered the agents of the Customer, and the goods may be entrusted to such agencies subject to all conditions as to limitations of liability for loss, damage, expense or delay and to all rules, regulations, requirements and conditions, whether printed, written or stamped, appearing in bills of lading, receipts or tariffs issued by such carriers, truckmen, lightermen, forwarders, customs brokers, agents, warehousemen, and others. HCB shall under no circumstances be liable for any loss, damage, expense or delay to the goods for any reason whatsoever when said goods are in the custody, possession or control of third parties selected by HCB to forward, enter, clear, transport, or render other services with respect to such goods.

3. Choosing Routes or Agents. Unless express instructions in writing are received from the Customer, HCB has complete freedom in choosing the means, route and procedure to be followed in the handling, transportation and delivery of the goods. Advice by HCB to the Customer that a particular person or firm has been selected to render services with respect to the goods shall not be construed to mean that HCB warrants or represents that such person or firm will render such service.

4. Quotations Not Binding. Quotations as to fees, rates of duty, freight charges, insurance premiums or other charges given by Company to the Customer are for informational purposes only and are subject to change without notice and shall not under any circumstances be binding upon HCB unless HCB in writing specifically undertakes the handling or transportation of the shipment at a specific rate.

5. Duty to furnish information. With respect to export shipments from the United States, at a reasonable time prior to the exportation of the shipment the Customer shall furnish to HCB the commercial invoice in proper form and number, a proper consular declaration, weights, measures, values and other information in the language of and as may be required by the laws and regulations of the USA and the country of destination of the goods.  With respect to any shipment handled hereunder, HCB shall not in any way be responsible or liable for increased duty, penalty, fine or expense unless caused by the negligence or other fault of HCB, in which event its liability to the Customer shall be governed by the provisions of paragraphs 8, 9, 10 below. The Customer shall be bound by and warrant the accuracy of all invoices, documents and information furnished to HCB by the Customer or its agent for export, entry or other purposes and the Customer agrees to indemnify and hold harmless HCB against any increased duty, penalty, fine or expense including attorneys' fees, resulting from any inaccuracy, incomplete statement, omission or any failure to make timely presentation, even if not due to any negligence of the Customer.

6. Declaring Higher Valuation. Since carriers, warehousemen and others to whom the goods are entrusted usually limit their liability for loss or damage, unless a higher value is declared and a charge based on such higher value is agreed to be paid by the Customer, HCB must receive specific written instructions from the Customer to pay such higher charge based on valuation and the carriers, warehousemen or others to whom the goods are entrusted must accept such higher declared value; otherwise the valuation placed by the Customer on the goods shall be considered solely for export or customs purposes and the goods will be delivered to the carriers, warehousemen or others, subject to the limit of liability set forth herein in paragraph 8 and 9 below with respect to any claim against HCB and subject to the provisions of paragraph 2 above.

7. Insurance. HCB will make reasonable efforts to effect marine, theft and other insurance upon the goods only after specific written instructions have been received by HCB in sufficient time prior to the shipment from the point of origin, and at the same time states specifically the kind and amount of insurance to be placed. HCB does not undertake or warrant that such insurance can or will be placed. Unless the Customer has its own open marine policy and instructs HCB to effect insurance under such policy, insurance will be attempted to be placed with one or more insurance companies or other underwriters to be selected by HCB. Any insurance placed will be governed by the certificate or policy issued and will only be effective when accepted by such insurance companies or other underwriters. Should an insurer dispute its liability for any reason, the insured shall have recourse against the insurer only and HCB shall not be under any responsibility or liability in relation thereto, notwithstanding that the premium upon the policy may not be at the same rates as that charged or paid to HCB by the Customer, or that the shipment was insured under a policy in the name of HCB. Insurance premiums and the charge of HCB for arranging the same shall be at the Customer's expense. If for any reason the goods are held in warehouse, or elsewhere, the same will not be covered under any insurance, unless HCB receives written instructions from the Customer. Unless specifically agreed in writing, HCB assumes no responsibility to effect insurance on any export or import shipment which it does not handle.


8. Limitation of Liability. (a) Customer agrees that HCB shall only be liable for any loss, damage expense or delay to the goods resulting from the negligence or other fault of HCB; such liability shall be limited to an amount equal to the lesser of fifty dollars ($50.00) per entry or shipment or the fees charged for the services, provided that, in the case of partial loss, such amount will be adjusted pro rata;   (b) Where HCB issues its own bill of lading and receives freight charges as its compensation, Customer has the option of paying a special compensation and increasing the limit of Company's liability up to the shipment's actual value; however, such option must be exercised by written agreement, entered into prior to any covered transaction, setting forth the limit of HCB's liability and the compensation received;   (c) In instances other than in (b) above, unless the Customer makes specific written arrangements with HCB to pay special compensation and declare a higher value and Company agrees in writing, liability is limited to the amount set forth in (a) above; (d) Customer agrees that HCB shall, in no event, be liable for consequential, punitive, statutory or special damages in excess of the monetary limit set forth in (a) above.

9. Presenting Claims. HCB shall not be liable under paragraph 8 for any claims not presented to it in writing within 90 days of either the date of loss or incident giving rise to the claim; no suit to recover for any claim or demand hereunder shall be maintained against HCB unless instituted within nine (9) months after the presentation of the said claim.

10. Advancing Money. HCB shall not be obligated to incur any expense, guarantee any payment or advance any money in connection with services provided by HCB and is under no obligation to advance freight charges, customs duties or taxes on any shipment.  Any advance by HCB will not be construed as a wavier of the provisions hereof.

11. Indemnification for Freight Duties. In the event that a carrier, other person or any governmental agency makes a claim or institutes legal action against HCB for ocean or other freight, duties, fines, penalties liquidated damages or other money due arising from a shipment of goods of the Customer, the Customer agrees to indemnify and hold harmless HCB for any amount HCB may be required to pay such carrier, other person or governmental agency together with reasonable expenses, including attorney fees, incurred by HCB in connection with defending such claim or legal action and obtaining reimbursement from the Customer. The confiscation or detention of the goods by any governmental authority shall not effect or diminish the liability of the Customer to HCB to pay all charges or other money due promptly on demand.

12. C.O.D. Shipments. Goods received with instructions to "Collect on Delivery" (C.O.D.) by drafts or otherwise, or collect on any specified terms by time drafts or otherwise, will be accepted by HCB only upon the express understanding that HCB will exercise reasonable care in the selection of a bank, correspondent, carrier or agent to whom it will send such an item for collection.  HCB will not be responsible for any act, omission, default, suspension, insolvency or want of care, negligence, or fault of such bank, correspondent, carrier or agent.  HCB will not be responsible for any delay in remittance lost in exchange, or lost during transmission, or while in the course of collection.

13. General Lien on Any Property. HCB shall have a general lien on any and all property (and documents relating thereto) to the Customer, in its possession, custody or control or in route, for all claims for charges, expenses, or advances incurred by HCB in connection with any shipments of the Customer.  If any claim remains unsatisfied for thirty (30) days after demand for its payment is made, HCB may sell at public auction or private sale, upon ten (10) days written notice by registered or certified mail to the Customer, the goods, wares and /or merchandise, or so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy such lien, and apply the net proceeds of such sale to the payment of the amount due HCB. Any surplus from such sale shall be transmitted to the Customer, and the Customer shall be liable for any deficiency in the sale.

14. Compensation of HCB. The compensation of HCB for its services shall be included with and is in addition to the rates and charges of all carriers and other agencies selected HCB to transport and deal with the goods.  Such compensation shall be exclusive of any brokerage, commissions, dividends or other revenue received by HCB from carriers, insurers and others in connection with the shipment. On ocean exports from the USA, upon request, HCB will provide a detailed breakout of the components of all charges assessed and a true copy of each pertinent document relating to these charges. In any referral for collection or action against the Customer for monies due to HCB, the Customer shall pay the expenses of collection and/or litigation, including reasonable attorneys’ fees.

15. No Responsibility for Governmental Requirements. It is the responsibility of the Customer to know and comply with the marking requirements of Customs and Border Protection, the regulations of the United States Food and Drug Administration, the requirements of the United States Department of Transportation, and all other requirements, including regulations of Federal, state and/or local agencies or countries pertaining to the merchandise. HCB shall not be responsible for action taken or fines or penalties assessed by any governmental entity against the shipment because of the failure of the Customer to comply with any law, requirements or regulations.

16. Indemnity against Liability Arising From the Importation of Merchandise. The Customer agrees to indemnify and hold HCB harmless from any claims and/or liability arising from the importation of merchandise which violates any laws, requirements, or regulations and further agrees to indemnify and hold HCB harmless against any and all liability, loss, damages, costs, claims and/or expenses, including but not limited to attorneys’ fees, which HCB may hereafter incur, suffer or be required to pay by reason of claims by any government or private party. In the event that any action, suit or proceeding is brought against HCB by any government or private party, HCB will give notice in writing to the Customer by mail at its address on file with HCB. Upon receipt of such notice, the Customer at its own expense shall defend against such action and take all steps as may be necessary or proper to prevent the obtaining of a judgment and/or order against HCB.

17. Construction of Terms and Venue. The foregoing Terms and Conditions of Service shall be construed according to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  No legal proceeding against HCB may be instituted by the Customer, its assigns, or subrogee except in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.