Competing effectively in today’s global economy often means that a business must either ship goods overseas, or receive international shipments. Importing and exporting goods on an international scale requires knowing about complex regulations. It also means that you need to know what to do in order to have those goods get through customs. This is not a simple process. In fact, it is not unusual to have goods held up at port due to some snag with customs. It can be a costly nightmare trying to figure out how to resolve an international shipping problem. A customs broker can successfully navigate your goods through the sea of regulatory requirements.
The Important Role of a Customs Broker
A customs broker is someone that specializes in expediting goods through the complex maze of international regulations. Every country has its own rules and regulations that govern how overseas goods are handled on their shores. Most businesses simply don’t have the time or resources to devote to keeping up with ever changing regulations concerning every type of item. This is the sole responsibility of your broker. They are very familiar with the entire customs process and stay on top of any important changes.
Their job is to save your business time and money by helping goods ease through the international supply chain.
Brokers Handle Paperwork
One of the most unpleasant aspects of shipping goods overseas is the massive amount of paperwork that must be properly filled out. All goods must travel with the appropriate documents. Just like people cannot travel to other countries without a passport, goods cannot be shipped without similar approval from the right authorities.
Brokers are experts at handling all types of forms such as Bill of Lading, invoices and other important documents. The broker takes over all aspects of making sure customs authorities receive the appropriate signed paperwork. Customs officials will clear goods for release after paperwork has been approved. This alone is well worth the cost of hiring their services.
Stay Abreast of Regulatory Changes
Brokers are always in the loop about important government import and export changes. The best brokers attend industry events, classes and read the latest news regarding international shipping. They can be a valuable consultant whenever your business needs fast information about current border restrictions or trade agreement rules. This is important because rules can change very quickly.
Reduce Shipping Costs
A highly skilled customs broker can be the source of a wealth of knowledge regarding ways in which your business can cut costs on shipping. For instance, a broker is likely to know a lot about certain trade agreements between countries. Some of these agreements offer reduced rates on certain goods. Your broker can explain where these savings are and how you can take advantage of them.
Another way customs brokers save their clients money is by arranging special agreements with freight companies. Your broker can arrange to have your goods bundled and shipped with similar goods. You enjoy lower shipping costs with this smart strategy.