If you are importer in the US, you will need the assistance of a customs broker at some point. Custom brokers are licensed and regulated by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). While it’s not mandatory to engage one, most importers work with customs brokers closely to get their shipments cleared as swiftly as possible, ensuring compliance and after payment of duties, taxes and fees. Many services, such as Clearit USA customs consulting, also work with importers to offer them advice on expansions and venturing into new markets. In this post, we are reviewing what it takes to hire a customs broker.
- Think of your requirements
If you want to deal in a specific kind of import or product line, you need a customs broker who has experience in that niche. For instance, some categories of products are tricky and risky, because of extensive compliance needs and regulations.
- Consider your ports
There are many customs brokers who work across all ports in the US, but many don’t. So, if your importing business requires you to get goods and shipments through various ports, you may have to find a broker who has offices in all those ports. A lot of work is done online, but it is best to enquire in advance.
- Assistance, automation and start
All customs brokers are now fully automated, and it takes barely a few minutes to open an account. The right broker will simplify communication, and that will, in turn, reduce the time required to get goods cleared.
Expectedly, costing is an important factor, because you wouldn’t want to increase the importing expenses beyond a point. Talk to the customs broker and find out how they charge clients. In some cases, if a specific account representative or expert is assigned for an importer, costs may increase.
Knowing the background and experience of a customs broker is particularly important. How long they have been in business? Who are some of their big clients? Do they have good and positive reviews in general? Do they offer customs consulting? These are some of the basic questions that must be answered.
Finally, take your time to work with a customs broker closely. As your business expands and you move to new markets, their understanding of international trade laws and other aspects will matter, so as to reduce the risks and ensure compliance. Shortlist a few customs brokers now!