A customs broker is an individual who is licensed by the local customs. He or she passed an examination that covers a wide range of information inclusive of customs law, classification, tariff schedule, export and import regulations, shipping processes, trade documentation, the calculation and payment of taxes, duties and excises etc. He or she functions as a professional-agent for an importer or exporter, puts in order and submits all paper work, (sometimes electronic submissions) for clearance of goods through customs, and is remunerated customs-brokerage. A customs broker also facilitates the communication between government authorities and importers and exporters. In other words, customs broking or customs brokerage is a line of work that involves the "clearing" of goods through layers in customs for importers and exporters which are most of the time businesses. A customs broker may be employed by or associated with independent businesses, freight forwarders or shipping lines, trade authorities, importers, exporters, and customs brokerage firms.
The Benefits of Using a Customs Broker
Any company involved in large volumes of importing or exporting needs to use a broker so that you can remain focused on running your core business. Instead of wasting your time overseeing details and complex customs procedures, hire a professional that can leverage their know-how to do the job with accuracy and efficiency. Here are some of the actual benefits of hiring a competent customs broker.
1. Be Current with Policy and Regulation Changes
One of the major tasks of a customs broker is to know the policies and regulations required by various agencies. Your broker will take on the responsibility of ensuring your company is up-to-date in its compliance with these.
2. Make Use of Trade Opportunities
As your customs broker veers your company away from shipment problems, he or she will also find and take advantage of valid trade agreement opportunities.
3. A Competent Customs Brokers Comes Equipped
A prepared customs broker comes ready with all of the tools needed. Software, hardware and technology needed to manage your company’ shipments are his or her standard operating equipment to get the job done.
Choosing the Right Customs Broker for You
1. Select a Specialty Broker especially if you are into importing or exporting a specific type of
product. A customs broker with knowledge in your area or industry will be much more helpful than a generalized broker. This will save you time and money
2. Select a Broker With Affirmative References.
Your business means everything. When choosing a customs broker, do your homework and look beyond what you are told. Ask for referrals from past clients or ask an unbiased third party for their opinions. Also ask for documentation to prove legitimacy
3. Select a Broker With Representation At Your Ports of Origin and Destination. Save precious time and resources by avoiding complications. Choose a broker that has representation at the ports you frequent.
4. Select a Broker That Can Handle Your Quantity.
If you deal in large volumes, it is sensible to pick a broker that can concentrate their resources
exclusively to your affairs.
5. Have A Contract
Be crystal on everything by having a working agreement on paper that can be referenced if any problems crop up.
6. Look Around Well
Give yourself the luxury of choosing and comparing between at least two or three alternatives before you sign up one on board your operations.
Find out how a shipping company can help you streamline and import/export business or lower International Supply Chain costs with Customs Brokers
The Skinny on Competent Customs Brokers