Does dealing with customs send a shiver down your spine? Just thinking about the paperwork involved is headache-inducing, so any opportunity to reduce the stress of importing is tempting. But is using a customs broker right for your business? Let’s take a look at what they do, and then you can make your mind up.
What is a customs broker?
A customs broker (also known as an import broker) is there to make sure your consignments clear the customs processes without any fuss or drama.
Being experts in international trade, they are up to date with any changing rules and regulations to make sure you have all the paperwork and licenses you need to import goods to the UK. Plus, they ensure the correct duty and taxes are paid to reduce any delays.
Their other services could include:
- Checking the classification and valuation of your goods and making sure you use the right commodity codes
- Liaising with government agencies and customs authorities on your behalf
- Advising on any necessary licenses for import of restricted or hazardous goods
- Preparation and submission of documents that have to be filed to clear customs processes
- Helping arrange correct payment of import duties and VAT as necessary
The advantages of using a customs broker
One of the most significant advantages is that they will help you navigate the complex and changing set of import and customs regulations. This changing landscape is one reason that customs brokers are useful – if not essential – to importers.
Knowing you have an expert in your corner gives you peace of mind knowing your shipments are completed in line with current laws, rules and regulations.
Using a specialist customs brokerage – or choosing a freight forwarder which can also act as customs broker on your behalf – can offer several advantages:
- You deal only with your customs broker, so you don’t have to speak to umpteen government agencies
- Avoid duty or VAT overpayments or underpayments
- Reduce shipment delays
- Enjoy additional benefits such as delivery tracking
Is using a customs broker right for you?
Only you can decide if it’s right for you but having expert support to help you navigate the customs processes is undoubtedly helpful. If nothing else, it means you don’t have to invest time and energy in learning about customs regulations yourself or employ someone else in house to do so.
You could use a standalone customs broker or opt for a freight forwarding company that also offers import brokerage. That way all. Your logistics and customs needs are met under one roof.