Commissioner - duties, rights and importance

The commission agent (from Latin committere: to commission) is an independent businessman who buys or sells goods or securities commercially in his own name, but for third-party account. He can have a permanent contractual relationship with his client or accept orders on a case-by-case basis.

Depending on the type of activity, a distinction is made between purchasing commission agents and sales commission agents.

Consignment warehouse and consignment warehouse

Often the client (principal) sets up a warehouse for his commission agent. It has the advantage that the relevant makes can be viewed by the customer and delivered at short notice. In domestic traffic it is called a consignment warehouse, in international traffic it is called a consignment warehouse.

Der Auftraggeber muss vor Überlassung eines solchen Lagers die Kreditwürdigkeit und Zuverlässigkeit des Kommissionärs gewissenhaft prüfen; bisweilen verlangt er auch die Stellung einer Kaution oder eine Bank guarantee. Die Einrichtung eines Konsignationslagers in Übersee ist besonders risikoreich, weil infolge der hohen Frachten von unredlichen Kommissionären die Preise nachträglich gedrückt werden können.

Obligations of the commission agent

The commission agent has ...

to carry out all transactions with the diligence of a prudent businessman (due diligence)

to comply exactly with the regulations of his client (principal) (obligation to comply), in particular with regard to the set price limit (price limit)

to notify his client immediately of the purchase or sale made (obligation to notify)

to be settled in a purchase or sales invoice for the transaction carried out (accounting obligation). All more favorable conditions apply directly to the client in whose interest he is acting.

Commission agent's rights

The commission agent has ...

Entitled to commission which is due once the deal is carried out

Entitlement to reimbursement of the costs and expenses incurred in carrying out the order (freight, customs duties, brokerage fees, etc.)

a right of lien, ie right of retention on the commissioned goods for his claims against the client

Anspruch auf Del credere commission, wenn er die Haftung für den Eingang der Rechnungsbeträge bei Zielverkäufen übernimmt

the right of self-entry, ie he can deliver goods or securities that he is to buy for the client from his own stocks or, in the case of sales orders, take them over as buyer himself. However, the prerequisite is that either the principal (client) agrees or the goods or securities in question have a stock exchange or market price.

Importance of a commission agent

The commission agent is particularly important in foreign trade as a specialist and processor of foreign markets known to him. In domestic trade it is particularly important when introducing new goods. The commission business is of great importance in the securities trading of banks and in the book trade. In the commission book trade, the commission agent is the mediator between the publisher and the bookseller (assortment).

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