If you are a commercial importer, you will need the assistance of a customs broker at some point. Licensed and regulated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, customs brokers may refer to partnerships, associations, corporations, or individuals, and their main role is help clients, both importers and exporters, with matters related to customs. They specialize in customs clearance, and while it is not mandatory to hire an Amazon customs broker, importers prefer to leave the work to professionals.
What can a customs broker do?
The role of a customs broker may vary, depending on needs of the client, but in general, they –
- Clear shipment across ports in the US, including inland cargo
- Deal in all kinds of shipments – truck, ocean, air and parcel
- Manage classification and marking of goods
- Help with trade agreements and international trade laws
- Assistance for risk management and logistic needs
Get help for customs consulting
Working with U.S. Customs and Border Protection is not always a smooth ride for importers. For the CBP, security is a paramount factor, and they want all paperwork and documentation to be exactly as per norms and compliance needs. For importers, the concern is to get their goods cleared as soon as possible. In simple words, customs brokers bridge the gap between both and ensure that all taxes, duties, and fees are paid, and their client remains compliant with the requirements of CBP and other government bodies.
More than that, customs brokers offer consulting services for importers. No matter whether you want to import new category of goods, or wish to expand to a new region, your broker can offer all the advice that’s required to stay both compliant and reduce risks.
Working with a customs broker
Expectedly, not all customs brokers are same, and it is particularly important to do a background check on the expertise and experience of a customs broker. Ask questions related to their work profile, how much of their work is done online, and if they are accessible to handle your importing needs around the clock. Also, the costing is an important factor, because you should be able to make profits, after adding the customs brokerage charges to cost of imports.
You may feel that importing requirements are easy to understand, but in practice, it only gets simpler when you have the experience of a reliable and established customs broker.