Trade Talk Blog A
s a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. You’re likely running a tight ship and keeping tabs on all of your responsibilities—from payroll to marketing to customer service. You probably don’t have time for the administrative headache that comes with importing goods.
But did you know that hiring a customs broker could save you thousands of dollars in import fees?
The process of importing or exporting goods has become increasingly complex and can be confusing for those new to the process. Customs regulations change frequently, so understanding the rules can be difficult. While it’s possible to do all this paperwork independently, it’s not recommended.
Firstly, you will need someone to help you understand what’s going on with your shipment as it moves through the system. Secondly, if something goes wrong during shipping (and sometimes things do), having someone who knows what they’re doing by your side is crucial in getting everything resolved quickly and easily.
In this article, we’ll explain what a customs broker does and then go through five reasons why you should hire a customs broker to help import your goods.
What is a Customs Broker?
A customs broker is a licensed person or company with the authority to represent importers, exporters, and other individuals or businesses in clearing goods through customs. Many people mistakenly believe customs brokers are only responsible for handling paperwork, but there’s much more to what a customs broker can do.
What does a Customs Broker do?
A good customs broker will help you navigate the complex world of international trade regulations by providing accurate information about everything from tariffs to quotas to regulations. They collaborate with their clients to ensure that they are fulfilling all required taxes, duties, and fees and that they are compliant with all import rules and regulations. They can also assist with international logistics, so you don’t have to worry about your shipments getting to your destination on time.
5 Reasons to Hire a Customs Broker
Hiring a professional makes sense because they have the knowledge required to get your goods through customs quickly and efficiently without mistakes that could cost you money or delay the delivery of your shipment.
When you hire a customs broker, they can help you avoid fines or penalties by keeping track of all the necessary documentation for your shipments and any other necessary paperwork, such as invoices or bills of lading. They can also ensure your goods get through customs quickly, so you can rest assured that everything will arrive safely at its destination without any issues! But there are many more reasons to hire a customs broker, including:
#1. A customs broker will help you save time and money
The most obvious benefit of hiring a customs broker is that they can save time and money by streamlining your goods’ entry process, helping you avoid costly mistakes, and identifying opportunities for duty refunds.
They can also help you save money on taxes and tariffs by identifying ways to avoid them altogether! Some products don’t need tariffs, while others require certain licenses or permits before they can be imported into the country legally—and having a good customs broker on hand means knowing which ones apply so that you don’t get stuck paying unnecessary fees.
#2. A customs broker will help you navigate import rules and regulations
When it comes to the rules and regulations surrounding the import of your goods, you can’t afford to get them wrong. There are so many factors that need to be considered — from tariffs to duties, taxes, and more—that it can be easy for even experienced companies to get caught out.
The sheer volume of information available can make it difficult to know where to begin or how to proceed when something goes wrong. With so much information available online, there’s no shortage of resources that can help you navigate the customs process on your own. And a customs broker can also help you understand exactly what’s required of your business and ensure that every aspect of your import process is compliant.
#3. A customs broker will offer guidance on import duties and tariffs
Whether you’re importing goods or importing vehicles into the United States or Canada, you must know how much duty will be applied to each type of good and whether or not there are any licences, exemptions, or exclusions needed.
A customs broker has access to a network of experts who can provide valuable advice on complex issues like duties, tariffs, and quotas, which means they’ll be able to help you make informed decisions at every step along the way. They will ensure that everything is done properly so that you don’t end up paying more than necessary in taxes and duties when importing goods into the country.
#4. A customs broker can handle all the paperwork on your behalf
Mistakes in customs paperwork can result in fines, delays, and/or confiscation of your imported goods. These penalties can cost you money as well as damage your reputation with customers by causing delays in delivery or refunds for non-delivery. You don’t want to end up with a big fine because your paperwork wasn’t filed correctly—or worse yet, because you didn’t file any paperwork.
Handling customs paperwork requires knowledge of complex rules, regulations, forms, and laws frequently changing due to government changes or trade agreements between countries. A customs broker will ensure that everything is done right because they know what type of import documents are needed for each imported product. They’ll also help fill out and file those documents on your behalf.
#5. A customs broker can help you avoid penalties and fines
Penalties and fines are never fun. They’re expensive, they take time to pay off, and they can make it hard to focus on the more important aspects of running your business. If you attempt to handle importing on your own, there’s a good chance you could make mistakes in the process that could land your shipment in trouble with customs officials.
Of course, this can lead to fines or penalties for failing to comply with regulations or even having items seized from your shipment by officials who suspect illegal activity. But by working with a licensed customs broker who knows what they’re doing, you’ll ensure that there aren’t any compliance issues or other red tape associated with importing or exporting goods.
How GHY Can Help You
GHY specializes in helping importers navigate the complex world of international trade and have helped hundreds of importers bring their goods into the U.S. and Canada with minimal effort from their side. That means we understand that time is money for our clients, so we keep things moving as quickly and smoothly as possible from start to finish. We offer customized solutions for each client based on their unique needs. So, no matter how big or small your business is or what type of products you import, we will have a customs brokerage package that fits perfectly within your budget and expectations.
Still have questions? Book a meeting with one of our Trade Experts below today to discuss how we can help you start your importation process!