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Rules of Membership

All UFO Members are bound by the Rules of Membership and must ensure compliance with these rules. The rules were updated in July 2018 to align more closely with the structure of our exclusive network and simplified where possible to make them more user-friendly.

The Spirit of UFO

Our goal is for Universal Freight Organisation (UFO) to consist of highly professional and pro-active freight forwarders who actively work together “within the spirit of UFO” which is to:

  • Respond to emails within 24 hours
  • Pay invoices on time and in full
  • Communicate if things go wrong
  • Give Members the opportunity to quote on new business

1 General Rules

1.1. The Universal Freight Organisation (UFO) comprises of each company registered on the Membership List.

1.2. Members must be privately owned companies, partnerships or corporations, involved in the freight forwarding industry.

1.3. Membership entitles each Member to representation of the UFO within a country, state or an assigned area in which the Member is resident and conducts business.

1.4. The UFO President reserves the right to re-define an area represented by an existing Member if they consider that realignment to be in the best interest of the UFO Members as a whole.

1.5. Members may only represent countries where they have a wholly owned and operated office.

1.6. Members may not promote within the UFO (an) office(s) or sister company, either wholly or partly owned or not, in any area where a UFO Member already exists.

1.7. All Members must be able to offer and provide the full range of services demanded by other Members in both air and sea freight. If for any reason a Member is unable to handle a mode of transport, the UFO President reserves the right to recruit an additional company within their area that can handle the shipments the original Member cannot, if they consider it to be in the best interest of all the UFO Members as a whole.

1.8. A company shall cease to be a Member of the UFO if:
- the Member gives notice of resignation in writing to the UFO President, or:
- the UFO President considers that the Member is not able to perform fully all the functions and operations required to satisfy other Members, or:
- if a Member is deemed not to be working within the true spirit of UFO, or:
- that any detrimental behaviour to UFO or its Members is exposed, or:
- that they consider that the Member has falsely claimed the services, which they are unable to perform, or:
- the Member does not adhere to the Rules of Membership.

1.9. All new Members are subject to a probationary period of 12 months to assess their abilities and commitment to UFO.

1.10. The Application Procedure may be reviewed or modified at any time by the UFO President.

1.11. Members accept and understand that all transactions are undertaken at their own risk and judgment and that, under no circumstances, can UFO be held responsible.

1.12. Members are requested to add the UFO logo and name onto their company stationery, including website, letterhead and business cards.

1.13. When a company ceases to be a Member, the company must no longer use the name or logo of UFO.

1.14. It is preferred that UFO Members do not to belong to, or be actively associated with, any company, group, association or organisation which is deemed by the UFO President to be in competition with UFO and/or its Members. The UFO President reserves the right to expel a Member(s) if it is felt that the company is not reciprocating business with UFO Members and/or working within the spirit of UFO.

1.15. Members pledge to perform all services undertaken on the client's behalf in a conscientious, diligent and professional manner.

1.16. Members pledge to hold in strict confidence, all information acquired during the relationship concerning the business and the affairs of their client. No such information is to be released unless authorised by the client or required by law.

1.17. Participation in the annual UFO Quality Control Survey is mandatory, and submissions must be provided to the UFO Head Office within the date assigned and the guidelines provided.

2 Membership Fee

2.1. The Annual Membership Fee, which covers one calendar year is payable by each Member in accordance with the deadline illustrated on their invoice. If payment is not received on the date given, a GB £50 supplement will be applied. If full payment (inclusive of the supplement) is not then received after 14 days, the Member will automatically be excluded.

2.2. The Annual Membership Fee may be increased at any time during the year (the increase shall not exceed 10% once per year).

2.3. Members who recommend other qualified freight forwarding companies to join UFO will gain a Recommendation Commission of 20% discount from their next Annual Membership Fee upon full payment of the successful applicant’s invoice.

2.4. No part of the Annual Membership Fee will be refunded in the event of a Member’s expulsion or resignation.

3 Conduct between Members

3.1. Members are to communicate efficiently and promptly (within a maximum of 24 hours) with their fellow Members.

3.2. Members are to agree costs and payment terms before bookings are made; keep each other updated on shipment statuses and provide prompt advice of any problems that may arise.

3.3. Members are to actively source and negotiate the best possible net rates and provide net/net buying rates and real selling rates to fellow UFO Members. Additionally, when working on a shipment together, Members are entitled to request copies of invoices received from suppliers and sent to customers from fellow UFO Members.

3.4. For efficient communication, we suggest that the subject line in email messages between Members should begin with “UFO” followed by the name of the city of origin, and then followed by the subject of the email. For example: “UFO: Sydney – Air rate to Moscow”.

4 Payments between Members

4.1. Unless alternative terms are mutually agreed between both parties, payments between Members must not exceed 30 days from the invoice date.

4.2. If a Member defaults on Rule 4.1, the UFO Head Office reserves the right to place the Member on Default Alert and notify all Members via the UFO Mailing List.

4.3. To ensure smooth cash flow and to prevent overdue payments, Members are encouraged to enter the details of all outgoing invoices to fellow UFO Members into the UFO Payment Monitoring System.

4.4. All payments must be made in the currency that is marked as payable on the invoice. The sender must pay all relevant bank charges so that the full amount on the invoice is received.

4.5. Members must offer all new business to fellow UFO Members for quoting. Existing long-standing relationships are acceptable on the basis that a Member may not reciprocate business in those areas. These areas must be specified upon Application.

4.6. The UFO Head Office and UFO President cannot be held responsible in case of commercial and/or financial obligations that are not met by (a) UFO Member(s).

4.7. To avoid fraudulent scams, Members are to be extra cautious when transferring funds. Members are requested to telephone the management of the UFO Member for verbal clarification of any amendments, including changes of bank accounts.

5 Annual Meetings

5.1. From 2020, each UFO Member must nominate at least one representative to attend every other Annual Meeting. This rule will be strictly enforced as attendance is one of the most important aspects of active Membership.

5.2. Failure to attend may result in immediate expulsion and there will be no right of appeal (unless there are serious mitigating factors acceptable to the UFO President).

5.3. Members must submit proof of serious mitigating factors validating their inability to attend. However, conflicting commitments such as other engagements or meetings, or the failure to obtain a visa in time, will not be considered valid explanations for non-attendance.

5.4. Representatives attending the Annual Meetings must be fully employed by a UFO Member either on a full or part-time basis and not employed by any other company. Breach of this condition will result in the immediate cancellation of attendance with no refund.

5.5. Only fully paid registered delegates with official conference lanyards are permitted to enter the meeting room.

Governing Law

The Rules of Membership, your use of the website and any other information are governed by the Laws of England. By using you submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England. You irrevocably agree that the courts of England shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute which may arise out of, under, or in connection with the Rules of Membership, your use of the website and any other information.