There is no legal requirement for an importer or exporter to hire a customs broker to aid them in the importation/exportation process, but that doesn’t mean having one wouldn’t be extremely helpful.
For first time importers, especially, things can be rather difficult and confusing, and the potential consequences of an error could be extremely damaging to the business. If you’re relying on these imports to provide for your customers, you don’t want to do (or not do) something that would put the shipment at risk, and a customs broker is there to make sure things go smoothly.
What Can Your Customs Broker Do for You?
Everybody’s needs are different, so a customs broker’s job may change slightly from client to client. They have their core services, but they are also able to solve problems and satisfy unique requirements. Some of the most valuable customs broker services include all of the following:
- They act as a middle man between you and the agencies relevant to your situation, communicating back and forth to make sure everybody’s needs are met.
- They make sure that your goods are compliant with laws and regulations.
- They prepare and submit documentation, payments, and information on your behalf.
- They assess every document to ensure that it’s compliant.
- They make sure that your goods are properly classified so that taxes and duties are correct.
In some cases, they can also provide some insight into how you can keep your taxes and duties as low as possible.
Helping You Spread Your Business to New Markets
In today’s fast-paced, global market, speed and efficiency are essential to success, but if you are unfamiliar with the import/export process, you can run into a lot of problems, and these are problems that often lead to fines and fees.
A customs broker’s job is to make sure your goods are prepared to be imported or exported, and in doing so, they protect you and your goods from beginning to end.
Customs brokers facilitate clearance processes, and they help you get your goods to your customers quickly and safely. The quicker your goods arrive at the location, the quicker you can start moving them around and getting them into the hands of your customers.
Who Can Use a Customs Broker?
Customs brokers work with all kinds of people and organisations, including freight forwarders, importers, exporters, independent businesses, and shipping lines. Some companies may even have their own brokers to help organise and manage the goods that come and go on a daily basis.
Brokers are highly knowledgeable in a variety of procedures and processes, so they know exactly what needs to happen to get your goods to their location, regardless of shipment size. They understand entry procedures, classification, valuation, and taxes.
Most importantly, they know how to adapt. All businesses are different and work with different types of goods, so a customs broker’s job is always changing in one way or another, and they will adjust their services according to your needs.