When shipping companies or freight companies help transport cargo or freight from one place to another, they need to go through government customs agencies that check whether the freight or the cargo has all the legal paperwork required to proceed and enter the national border. Freight companies need someone who can help them get the clearance from customs officials and make sure that their freight arrives without delay.
Such services are provided by a customs broker. Customs brokers are usually associated or affiliated with the freight companies (also known as freight forwarders) and other importers and exporters within the trading business. They also arrange for transportation via trucking companies. For an individual to become a customs broker, they have to obtain a license and clearance from various government agencies. In the United States, the United States customs broker license is issued by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In order to obtain the license, the individual has to pass the US Customs Broker License exam. Customs brokers act as an intermediary between the shipping companies and the government agencies that regulate the rules and regulations of the customs.
The shipping companies hire customs brokers so that they can meet the import and export-related rules and regulations laid by the government. They also hire them because their services can allow the imported goods to arrive on time without encountering any delays. A skilled customs broker should have expertise on customs laws, tariff schedules, duty rates on various imported items, and other trade-related matters. They usually carry the paperwork or the documents prepared by the shipping companies. At the customs clearance, they show the paperwork to the customs officials. The customs authority checks the paperwork or the documents and gives the clearance.
They also rate duties on the imported goods and collect the payment. Important paperwork includes the commercial invoice and the bill of lading. The commercial invoice contains details of the date of shipment along with the name, address, contact number of the shipper and the consignee. It also contains the details of the items being imported/exported.
Let’s understand it through an example of Canadian customs.
Canadian customs is handled by the Canada Border Services Agency which is responsible for facilitating the movement of trade-related items across the Canadian border. It is responsible for enforcing the rules and regulations regarding import and export in Canada. Canadian customs agency determines the duties and taxes on the imported goods. Imported goods are released only when the items are given clearance by the customs officials. The items can also be subjected to the goods and services tax (GST) excise tax or excise duty. The customs broker can pay the duties and taxes by cash, debit card, cheque, credit card, etc.
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), carrier or courier services will notify the arrival of shipments that are valued at more than 3000 Canadian dollars. If the shipments are valued at 3300 Canadian dollars or less than 3300 Canadian dollars, then the shipment is delivered through either Canada Post or the courier company.
Before releasing the goods the shipment is examined by the government officials thoroughly. The shipment has to meet the Canada Border Services Agency’s requirements. It should follow the rules and regulations of the Canadian customs, only then the goods are released. If the shipment fails to meet the CBSA requirements, then a penalty can be charged.
In conclusion, a customs broker can offer his valuable services when it comes to customs clearance as they are extremely skilled to deal with the customs rules and regulations.
- Posted by WiserTech Solutions
- On July 31, 2021