What Does a Customs Broker Do?

Due to the complexity of importing and exporting goods, many companies hire customs brokers to act as their agents.

Importing and exporting goods are activities which help to maintain the countries’ economy and provide the population with the things they need. These global markets are what prevent people from seclusion and make our lives easier and more comfortable.

In order to regulate these transactions every country has the responsibility to create its legislative structure, controlling what comes in and out. The customs department is the one in charge to assure that what is coming in and out is duly allowed. Here is where the customs broker comes into action.
The customs broker (also known as Customs Brokerage) is a third-party company which works with these major departments to ensure their clients are not breaking any rules. They will act on behalf of the importer/exporter, preparing and submitting all the required documents for clearing goods through customs.

Why Should You Use a Customs Broker?

Notwithstanding that in some countries there is no legal requirement to use a customs broker to clear your goods, it is highly recommended. Why? Let’s imagine you’ve just bought your first car and its engine has broken down. Regardless of your bad luck, you probably wouldn’t consider fixing it by yourself, right? First because you have no knowledge to do it, and also because you could cause even more damage to the engine — once you don’t understand its intricacies. The most sensible thing to do here is to call a mechanic — someone who understand the engine’s complexity — and have him fix the engine for you. Well, the customs broker is the one who deals with the intricacies of the government’s regulations on your behalf. They will be in charge of tackling all the paperwork, securing passage through a customs examination in the shortest possible time, and minimizing the hassle and risks of loss at the lowest possible cost.

How is It Charged?

Normally customs brokers will charge a “brokerage fee”, this fee is usually determined as a percentage of the value of the imported shipment. There is also the possibility to negotiate a set rate/fee between the importer and the customs broker, based on complexity of customs entries, frequency of customs entries and customs value of imported goods.

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