Most companies start their business on a local level, but once you start observing a good trade flow, you may consider expanding to international trade. With the spike in e-commerce shops and giant retail platforms, it has become much easier to spread products beyond the border. However, customs brokerage still remains a challenging and complex procedure. To make importing operations and customs clearance easier and faster, businesses of all scales address customs brokers.
What Is a Customs Broker?
A customs broker is an expert who provides professional services in arranging the customs clearance process for your international shipments. The main specialization of a customs broker is filling out paperwork and making sure to follow all of the rules and compliances of cross-border trade. A broker can be a private individual, corporation, or entity. All customs brokers must be certified and accredited by the U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP). Only the official verification gives them the right to operate on the market and provide their services to importers and exporters. Brokers tender required paperwork and bills to the CBP on behalf of the importer. Essentially, the customs broker receives a fee for providing customs clearance services.
Why Do I Need a Customs Broker?
It is not required for you to hire customs brokers. However, if you decide to submit all the documents on your own, you are fully responsible for knowing the rules and regulations. You are also responsible for the accuracy of the information that you provide. That’s why many businesses hire brokers for their own convenience, and to avoid errors and charges. Most companies and shippers don’t have experience with exporting and importing goods, so it’s better to turn to expert help to ensure a few principal points of international shipping.
The convenience of cross-border shipping operations
The international logistics process isn’t too simple to organize, that is why it seems reasonable to direct paperwork clearance responsibilities to a customs broker. Instead of contacting governmental offices on your own, you’ll get all the documents issues sorted out by a professional. The appropriate paperwork management will exclude the possibility of shipping disruptions or facing unexpected logistics restrictions. Addressing customs brokerage services can be considered one of the guarantors of successful international delivery. If organized correctly, all the shipping operations will be completed with no delays and your customers will receive their orders on time.
Proper cargo classification
All the imported goods are classified according to the official government regulations described in the US Harmonized Traffic Schedule. As a business owner who only starts shipping your products internationally, you may not be familiar with the long list of classification requirements. Customs brokers will aid you in proper freight class determination so that none of the transported items gets eliminated from your cargo. You can also get some recommendations on how to pack your items for international shipping.
Cost-efficiency and avoiding customs fees
Many businesses that plan to ship overseas, are extremely worried about unexpected fees. Customs brokers will inform you about all the principal financial transactions and additional charges you might have to cover during transit. However, if all the customs paperwork is led properly and all of your transported items are classified by the government instructions, you are not likely to fund any extra charges. Even if you doubt the necessity of addressing customs brokers, it is better to use their services to avoid possible restrictions and remain cost-efficient when shipping overseas.
When Do I Need to Hire a Customs Broker?
Running cross-border trade by yourself can appear really exhausting and time-consuming. Hiring a customs broker is fairly beneficial if you want your international shipping to take off with no interruptions and thrive to stay focused on your core business operations.
The international shipping process can be unpredictable due to many details. If you don’t have any previous experience in submitting paperwork to customs, it is better to get professional support. Qualified customs brokers will get you familiar with all the shipping regulations and resolve miscommunications that sometimes occur in terms of global trade.
Where Do I Find Customs Brokers?
It depends on the shipping service you are using for moving your goods. Some shipping companies provide only freight forwarding and handling services, and won’t be able to help you with customs clearance. Also, some companies like FedEx or UPS have in-house customs brokers. But if you’re looking for a smaller service, it won’t be a good fit for you. Ultimately, it’s better to work with freight shipping companies who can offer you the option to work with customs brokers or to recommend you a reliable one.
International Shipping with GoShip
Whenever you are ready to actively grow your business, try to ship goods cross-border with GoShip. We provide reliable shipping services and can recommend reliable customs brokers.