A custom broker is one who is responsible for facilitating imports and exports among countries that have customs restrictions and inspections. Shipments that the brokerage will handle may be small or large and may include either perishable or non-perishable items. The broker acts as a liaison between the various parties involved including importers, exporters and governments. Some choose to specialize in one or more types of merchandise while others focus on approval and authorization of crews and manifests of container vessels or cargo ships.
A custom broker is often employed by a brokerage firm or company offering freight forwarding services. They may also work for trade authorities, import/export companies and shipping services. For those who prefer to be their own boss, independent contracting is also an option. Those who work in this field typically live near airports or major harbors which see a great deal of international trade.
Many are under the mistaken impression that those who work in this field act as customs agents. This is not true in most countries as the agents work for a government entity. Those who choose to work as a broker do so in the private sector. In some countries though, the two terms mean the same thing.
Paperwork is a large portion of this job as goods need to be sent to the correct location. In addition, documents which are related to duty terms, taxes and excise restrictions need to be completely and correctly. When these documents contain omissions or non-conformance issues, the goods are held until all errors are corrected. When the paperwork is completed correctly, all that is needed to have the shipment released is full payment of any fees which are due.
When it comes to ingoing and outgoing shipping, a custom broker must be knowledgeable in all requirements. This includes not only guidelines and regulations, but also any changes which have been made to the terms and conditions. Regular updates will be received through e-mail so the broker knows what changes have been made in terms of international procedures and trade policies. Often in the form of informational bulletins, these changes usually pertain to food, animal, drug and plant shipments.
The regular updates are needed to help prevent delays in shipping or the confiscation of cargo. When cargo is delayed or confiscated, merchants can incur losses so a good broker is knowledgeable in how to obtain extensions while this paperwork is properly completed. When choosing a custom broker, be sure to take this all into consideration to ensure they can handle your needs and allow merchandise to move freely without delay.
Reposted by Aryaputra Pande
Originally posted on November 2, 2015 @ 10:15 am