What Is a Customs Broker & When Do You Need One?

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What Is a Customs Broker & When Do You Need One?
customs broker

Most companies start their business on a local level, but once you have 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 clearance remains a challenging and complex procedure. To make importing and customs clearance easier and faster, companies can use a customs broker.

What is a customs broker?

A customs broker is a professional who provides expert services by arranging the customs clearance process for you during a shipment. The main specialization of a customs broker is filling out paperwork and making sure to follow all of the rules and compliance's. A broker can be a private individual, corporation, or an entity. However, 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.

Do I need to hire a customs broker?

It is not required for you to hire a 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 importing goods, so it’s better to turn to expert help. Just like you provide specific services or products in your niche, customs brokers have the expertise to complete the importing process within their industry.

Where do I find a customs broker?

It depends on the shipping service you are using for moving your goods. Some shipping companies just provide 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 a customs broker, or to recommend you a reliable one.

International shipping with GoShip.com

You can easily ship goods throughout North America with GoShip.com. We provide reliable shipping services and can recommend a customs broker to you. Learn more about our international shipping services!