With global e-commerce, businesses have fewer restrictions on exporting and importing goods. But it doesn’t mean companies, both big and small, can’t benefit from the services of a customs broker.
Acting as an intermediary between companies and relevant government agencies, brokers are responsible for clearing the shipments of imported and exported goods. They do this by ensuring the goods meet the standard legal requirements and regulations in both the countries of origin and destination. Customs brokers check the items and then file and submit the required documents related to sending out and accepting goods overseas.
In case you’re wondering how a customs broker can help your small business, read below.
1. Getting Advice On Requirements
The customs sector has complex requirements that vary from country to country. Say you’re operating a small business in Australia and want to ship out a batch of goods to the United States but don’t know where to start. Hiring a customs broker Sydney may better help you out instead of going ahead with the process without assistance.
Customs brokers are adept at issues that could be too complex to understand. Customs valuation, tariff classification, customs clearance, taxes, duty payments, and the Harmonized Tariff Schedule are among the basic issues a broker can assist you with.
2. Preventing Unnecessary Delays
Customs brokers are often paid based on the percentage of the total shipment amount. While their services are not for free, these professionals are updated on the most recent regulations, helping your business avoid delays.
The rules of exportation and importation change swiftly. Failure to follow one minor requirement can lead to costly delays, penalties, confiscation, and extended storage fees. With a customs broker, your business will have the documents and other necessities at the right time. Thus, you won’t have to deal with any costly mistakes.
3. Helping Improve Your Delivery Efficiency
A customs broker is well versed in import and export regulations and can help your business ship its goods out of the country with no hitches. These professionals likewise make sure your shipment has reached its recipient safe and sound. As such, they can recommend and provide cargo insurance packages for your enterprise.
But that’s not all. Some customs brokers can help small businesses establish a good supply chain as a few professionals also offer logistics and freight-forwarding services. Some brokers may link you to a third-party warehousing service when your business expands, and you need to engage in bulk shipments with their connections.
4. Validating Customs Declaration
A customs declaration contains the list and detailed description of items bound for export and import. These papers are submitted at the border upon arrival and departure in a specific country.
The requirement for customs declaration works in two ways: it prevents harmful substances and regulates the entry of specific goods. Some countries also impose hefty import taxes on some goods to control their access. Businesses that fail to accurately declare their interests will have their items confiscated or need to pay penalty charges. Hence, an authorized customs broker must ensure the declaration is valid and within legal bounds.
5. Helping Identify Your Goods Appropriately
While customs regulations could differ from one jurisdiction to another, countries base their charges on the international harmonized system, the cornerstone for the global trade in goods. In simpler terms, the Harmonized Tariff Schedule is a list of duties and taxes imposed on goods entering a specific country.
A licensed customs broker can identify the correct classification for your goods, which is crucial in a flawless transaction. Putting shipment into an inappropriate category can lead to delays as customs will place your shipment on hold.
6. Getting The Right Paperwork Done
Your business has to submit many documents before being cleared for export or import, especially for pharmaceutical goods and food products. You can assign a focal person to process these papers, including purchase orders, invoices, packing lists, airway bills, certificates, and other documents required by the buyer and other regulations set by the importing country.
Gathering these documents and dealing with concerned agencies can become a nightmare for first-timers, so a customs broker’s help is needed while your business learns the ropes. An experienced broker knows the steps by heart and has already developed good relations with the agencies involved. So having a broker can help expedite the process and avoid costly mistakes and miscommunication.
If you’re a small business eyeing to ship out your goods to a global market or that’s keen on importing products for your business, it’s best to seek out the services of a customs broker, even for your first few transactions. Through their expertise and skills, a customs broker can help ensure your shipments go through the inspection process securely, with less time, and at the lowest cost possible.