What Is A Customs Broker and How To Choose The Right One

Choose The Right Custom Brokers

A customs broker is a private individual, association, or a corporation that is by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assist importers and exporters in dealing with the logistics and legalities of importing and exporting goods.

Custom Brokers pass an examination that covers a broad range of knowledge including Customs law, Customs classification, Customs tariff schedule, import and export regulations, shipping procedures, trade documentation. They are responsible for entry procedures, admissibility requirements, classification, valuation, taxes, and fees.

The Role Of Custom Brokers

We all know that importing and exporting goods is difficult and there are a lot of challenging areas to cover. In every country, the customs department is responsible for regulating the import/export process and supervising it assuring that only what is allowed comes in and out of a country. Custom brokers work with the customs departments to make sure that the importers are in accordance with the country’s rules and regulations.

Hiring a customs broker will keep your company updated with the latest rules and regulations, taxes, and documentation needed to import and export goods from a certain country. These rules, regulations, taxes, and documentation change every year and they vary from one country to another making it very difficult for companies to keep up with every change, thus they hire customs brokers.

Custom brokers will handle all the paperwork, documentation, and procedures. They are familiar with the rules and regulations and they are the perfect middlemen between you and different governments. If you don’t any unexpected delays in your shipments, you should definitely hire a customs broker.

Moreover, since custom brokers are experienced in dealing with governments, they can provide valuable advice on which markets are lucrative and which are not. They have a large understanding of tariffs and they will help you discover and explore new competitive markets. Custom brokers have many duties including:

- Calculating Customs duties and fees
- Handling paperwork such as customs declarations
- Getting clearance to import or export from government authorities
- Facilitating Communication
- Arranging shipments

The Usefulness Of Custom Brokers

Importing goods is a profitable business that can turn to a total nightmare if you don’t know what is ahead of you. In this business, you will have to deal with suppliers, customers, governmental rules, and most important logistics. Therefore, it is best for you and your business to delegate the governmental regulations, taxes, fees, and logistics to a customs broker.

Experienced customs brokers will save you time and money. They are experts in handling these issues and they are constantly up to date with the new changes concerning law and regulations. Besides, they are the most qualified professionals to deal with the Department of Agriculture, damaged or broken goods, and customs delays.

How To Choose The Right Custom Broker?

The customs broker is a very important part of the shipping process. Choosing a customs broker should be done carefully and cleverly depending on your needs. You should definitely avoid hiring unknown customs brokers because their role is very sensitive and any bad decision could lead to costly results such as delays in getting your stock, failing in having clearance or failing to let you know when your shipment has cleared.

These are just some example of the catastrophic results that could take place if you hire the wrong person. Therefore, you should have second thoughts before making your final decision about the person you want to hire. Below you will find the most important things to keep in mind before hiring a customs broker:

- Excellent Communication:

Since the duties of custom brokers require that they communicate with different people and departments, they should have exceptional communication skills. Brokers with good communication make the business easier and smoother. Besides, you will feel better doing business with good communicators as they will keep up-to-date at every stage of the process.

- Experience in Importing Similar Products and Goods:

Experience is one of the most important factors in the success of the importing business. There are different laws and regulations for importing different products. This makes the process of importing very complicated. Therefore, it is recommended to hire someone who has experience in importing similar products to yours so you will be sure that he is aware of all the regulations and rules.

- Exceptional Work Load Management:

Some brokers deal with over 100 shipments per week, such a great workload may a rise problems and errors. Therefore, ask the brokers in advance how many shipments are they managing per week? And how do they manage them? Brokers who use technological solutions are an excellent choice as they have better control over the procedures and they can allow you to track to your shipments and have an idea at their status.

This is all you need to know about custom brokers. I hope you found this information valuable for your business and knowledge.


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