Contacting Customs Brokers?
Are you in the market for customs brokerage? Thinking of contacting a customs broker? Not sure if you need a customs broker or not even sure what customs brokerage is? Here’s a brief rundown that might help you make the right decision.
So what is Customs Brokerage?
A customs broker is a person or company who helps another person or company with their import, export, freight forwarding etc. as they work through the various levels of governance in order for their goods to arrive legally and in a timely manner.
Depending on the goods involved in the transaction, it is the customs broker’s responsibility to the client to assist them by making them aware of the various authorities that will have an interest in their shipment coming into a country or crossing borders into another jurisdiction and prepare their customs declaration.
Do I need a Customs Broker?
Whilst it is not legally required for clearing goods, the paperwork involved in the process is particularly time consuming and very layered. Unless you are dealing with this sort of thing on a daily basis, there can be loopholes that you miss which will result in unexpected costs as well as delays in your goods being cleared, plus the cost of your own time.
Most importers choose a customs broker out of convenience as well as for peace of mind in knowing that there goods will be cleared promptly after arrival.
What are the benefits of using customs brokerage?
A customs broker will prepare your customs declaration for you and have it ready to produce when your shipment arrives. Being experts in this field they will be aware of all the relevant authorities that will be checking your shipment and they will also be up to date on any policy changes or changes in authority. This allows you to spend more time attending to and growing the core of your business rather than overseeing complex customs procedures you are probably not an expert in.
So what should I be looking for in a customs broker?
If you are looking at using a customs brokerage service here are some key points to look for.
-ensure your customs broker is indeed a registered company. It is also good to know the size of the company as goods can arrive at ports all over the country and you need to know the customs brokerage company that you engage has sufficient staff to spread across these ports in order to present their client’s customs declarations for them.
– Make the standard enquiries you would when you engage any service provider. Depending on the size of your shipment, you can be paying anywhere between a few hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars to your customs broker. Ensure they are reputable and have good reviews and can provide you with names of their past clients who can vouch for their efficiency. Customs brokerage can be a minefield so a reputable and experienced operator is going to ensure a smoother transaction.
– Make sure the company you engage employs the customs broker and that you can deal with them direct. A middle man only means additional costs and not having direct contact with your broker only increases the chance of procedures being overlooked or you being charged a fee that wasn’t previously discussed.
As you can see from above, customs brokerage is a complicated part of the importing process. If you are looking to get your goods across an international border, legally and in good time without being slugged unnecessary fees and costs, then make sure you do your research and find the right customs brokerage service for you.