Sourcing 101

Why You Should Use a Customs Broker?

Customs brokers can handle all of the paperwork associated with importing or exporting your goods, providing you with peace of mind.

Why You Should Use a Customs Broker?

So you are into buying materials from China and wish to sell them in your country at a higher price. Instead of focusing on the business of selling, you encounter more time and attention goes about in getting your products out of the country’s bureau of customs. You wait, you negotiate, and some even ask for bribe money to release your materials. So for all the hustle and bustle, you wonder if there could be a better way.

Seriously, doing export and importing is by no means a simple endeavor. It’s hard, complex, and tedious work as documents are collected, and e-forms are filled out. Depending on the nature of the goods, various taxes, duties, and excises must be paid. Also, international trade is governed by a whole host of regulations. To maximize compliance, importers/exporters need to be familiar with all applicable laws. Enter custom brokers!

Customs brokerage, by the way, is a term used to describe buying and selling goods across borders and customs brokers are the team or company behind helping with the procedures involved in importing and exporting items, ensuring that you are receiving your goods promptly and in perfect condition.

Customs brokers can handle all of the paperwork associated with importing or exporting your goods, providing you with peace of mind that your goods will be appropriately addressed. As experts in the field, customs brokers help you navigate the sea of changing regulations and understand import specifics related to particular commodities. They are highly knowledgeable in all entry procedures, admissibility requirements, classification, valuation, and the duties and taxes imposed on imported goods.

So what value or services a customs broker can offer?

You should consider using customs brokerage services for many reasons, and it depends on your particular business. What follows are the main reasons likely to resonate with your specific needs.

1. Knowledge of complex regulatory requirements

Some businesses cannot afford employees familiar with the intricate regulatory requirements for international cargo transportation. They can hire a customs brokerage company to outsource this business hassle in this instance.You can rest assured that your business is "fully taken care of" because reputable custom broker businesses provide a comprehensive portfolio of import/export services, including logistics, freight forwarding, warehouse, and distribution.

2. Skills to facilitate the customs clearance process

Thanks to customs brokers, your shipments will be safe when they cross the border. They are skilled enough to make the entire customs clearance procedure easier, regardless of the entry port.

3. Help in avoiding unnecessary costs

The laws governing cross-border transactions are constantly evolving. Customs brokers know the requirements for each product and can help you avoid costly delays, fines, product confiscation, and other penalties.

4. Verification of declarations

You are legally responsible for all customs declarations prepared on your behalf, so keep that in mind. Verify your declarations with a licensed customs broker because inaccurate declarations can lead to audits, fines, and even sanctions for your company.

5. Convenient paperwork

Although working with a customs broker is not required by law, many businesses prefer to do so. This is due to the ease with which an expert can handle all paperwork and communication with relevant agencies. Even more significant, their expertise can prevent you from making costly errors.

6. Correct identification of goods

The Harmonized Tariff Schedule, a list of duties or taxes imposed on goods entering a country, is well-known to customs brokers. To facilitate accurate and simple identification to assess customs duty, each product is assigned a unique classification number divided into major groups and subgroups.

7. Easy clearance of shipments with formal entry

A formal declaration (formal declaration of specific information on imported goods) is required for some commodities by default. Chemicals, cosmetics, biological materials for research and medical use, agricultural and dairy products, and pharmaceutical and food products all fall under this category. Regardless of your shipment's nature, a formal entry is also required if it exceeds a certain value. For instance, a formal entry is required for any shipment with a value greater than $2500 (or $250 for textiles). Until the necessary paperwork and requirements for the shipment are met, these goods are held at customs.

In summary, employing a good customs broker to assist and facilitate your importing/exporting business is a great idea to save you time and hassle in going over the complicated processes of delivering your product from one country to another.

How to choose a good one and the red flags to avoid is another good topic to watch out for in our next series.

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