July 14, 2024

Start your importing business: Find a customs broker first!

Importing goods into the US for commercial purposes is more than just about finding an offshore vendor. You cannot just import like that. Setting up an import business requires considerable amount of initial paperwork, and that’s where you need a customs broker. The first step is to obviously register your business, and then, you have to work on the basic aspect, for which a reliable customs broker, like Clearit freight forwarding, can be really handy. 

Is it mandatory to hire a customs broker?

First things first, all customs brokers in the US are licensed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and you can find CBP approved list of customs brokers online. There is no rule that states that hiring a customs broker is mandatory for importing, but if you check with known importers and small businesses that are engaged in international trade, you will realize that most of them rely on customs brokers.

What does a customs broker do?

The role of customs brokers is to streamline the whole process of clearing customs for their clients. They take care of the initial paperwork, ensure that applicable duties, tariffs, and dues are paid, and they will get the shipment cleared by communicating with CBP as required. Many customs brokers have extensive experience of working with clients across different sectors, and they also offer importing advice and information on international trading laws, which are changing all the time. If an audit survey comes up, your customs broker will ensure that it doesn’t end up being a full audit. From the paperwork to the records, your customs brokers will check and do it all. 

More on the “need”

Most importers do not want to deal with the CBP directly, and that’s often the prime reason why they hire customs brokers. The idea is to focus on the core aspects of business, and the whole process of keeping an eye on changing and stringent importing regulations can be overwhelming. You have to understand that there is a need to evaluate importing rules for every category of goods, and when you don’t want to do all of that and focus on core operations, your customs broker is your biggest asset. 

As you may have guessed, your company may not be ready to import without a customs broker. You have to ensure that you have a reliable customs brokerage service that’s not only popular, but also extremely accessible and efficient.