Why Do I Need a Customs Broker?

Thanks to the emergence of different online portals, virtually everyone with a computer and an internet connection has direct access to the global market. However, while setting up shop and sending your wares overseas is easy enough, navigating the complexities of international trade and customs laws is another matter altogether.

You can invest some time into managing these issues yourself. However, most businesses simply don’t have the resources or the scale to do that themselves. A much simpler solution would be to get the services of a customs broker.

What does a customs broker do?

There can be a lot of paperwork involved in any international transaction. Many small businesses will need to handle anywhere from a few dozen to several hundred international transactions and shipments every week.

Different jurisdictions also treat different categories of items in their own ways, adding to the complexity of the job. However, importers and exporters must comply with all these regulations in order to continue doing business legally.

Customs brokerage services allow enterprises to easily comply with these regulations, saving them time and allowing them to focus on their own core specialties.

When you employ a customs broker, you give them the authority to act on your behalf with regards to different import and export obligations. Customs brokers will typically be able to handle at least the following:

  • Entry procedures
  • Item classification
  • Admissibility
  • Valuation
  • Import duties
  • Taxes

Many cargo forwarders and shipping lines also do these types of services, but there are also highly-specialized customs brokerage firms that are better at very specific types of imports and exports.  Customs broker Australia based businesses tend to look for often specialize in the Asia-Pacific market and the customs laws and regulations of different countries in the region.

Benefits of a custom broker

Finding a customs broker that specializes in your type of business can lend a number of benefits/ A few of these include:

1.) Avoidance of unnecessary fees

If you do a high volume of international business, having the services of a customs broker can pay for itself in the savings you would get from paying unneeded fees. This is on top of the time savings that you get from not having to do all the paperwork yourself.

2.) Highly-specialised advice

Every business is different. A good customs brokerage firm will be able to give you services and advice that’s especially suited for your situation. Other types of customs services will typically be one-size-fits-all solutions that may actually cost your business in the long run.

3.) Efficient facilitation of imports and exports

Customs brokerage services ensure your inbound and outbound international shipments suffer minimal or no delays due to classification or paperwork issues. This alone can make your business more competitive in the international market.

4.) Easy compliance with laws in different countries

You don’t want to be breaking laws anywhere. This can be easy to do unintentionally if you are doing all the paperwork and other procedures yourself. Having a customs broker on hand can prevent any unfortunate legal issues with your imports and exports.

5.) Easy paperwork

Doing the paperwork yourself will likely save you less money than you think. Not only will you have to spend more time out of your busy schedule doing this type of routine work, but you will also find you will have less time to concentrate on the other parts of your business that matter.  Having a customs broker will allow you to spend more time focusing on your business, and less time getting bogged down in the minutiae of customs compliance.

Would you get a customs broker for your business? Why or why not? Tell us!